KUALA LUMPUR: Certain Mat Rempit-related behaviour is due to biological factors.
An intervention programme to tackle illegal street racing found out that Mat Rempits had a higher level of hormones that led to aggressive behaviour, said Assoc Prof Dr Rozmi Ismail, who heads the Perkasa Camp Centre for Youth Empowerment.
The programme had examined the relations between hormones and the behaviour among illegal racers.
“The hormones – basal cortisol, testosterone, serotonin and catecholamines – are indicators of aggression, competitiveness, risk-taking and anti-social behaviour.
“We found that our participants, who all admitted to being involved in illegal racing, have a high level of the hormones, which may explain their tendency to aggressive inclination on the road,” said the pyschologist from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
Dr Rozmi was one of the plenary speakers for the Asean Regional Union of Psychological Societies series of seminars, which was held at HELP University College here on Oct 2-3.
The Perkasa Camp is a three-month programme sponsored by UKM’s Youth Strengthening Centre and Permata Negara, whose patron is Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister.
Thirty-four Mat Rempits took part in the pilot project in June recently.
Dr Rozmi said a two-week post-camp observation showed the participants were no longer involved with rempit activities.
During the camp, participants were led in activities covering three areas of concern: human development (empowering participants by addressing their self-esteem, resilience, assertive behaviour, competency and leadership skills), life skills (preparing them for future employment) and parent involvement (to encourage a wholesome environment for positive behavioural change).
Of the three, Dr Rozmi said, parental support was most lacking.
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