Tattoo acquisition: A prospective longitudinal study of adolescents

Eric Silver, Matthew VanEseltine, Stacy J. Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This study uses prospective longitudinal data to examine who acquired a first tattoo among a national sample of adolescents (n=13,101). Results indicate that social bonds, prior deviant involvement, self-protection, and negative self-appraisal all were predictive of tattoo acquisition. Results also show nontrivial differences in the likelihood of tattoo acquisition for different subgroups of adolescents, ranging from 1 in 5 for adolescents who scored high on several risk factors at once to 1 in 160 for those who scored low. Implications for future research on tattoo acquisition among adolescents are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-538
Number of pages28
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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