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Monday, April 29, 2013

Dimensions of disinhibited personality and their relation with alcohol use and problems

Although alcohol use disorders (AUDs) have been associated with different aspects of disinhibited personality and antisociality, less is known about the specific relationships among different domains of disinhibited personality, antisociality, alcohol use, and alcohol problems.

The current study was designed to address three goals, (i) to provide evidence of a three-factor model of disinhibited personality (comprised of impulsivity [IMP], risk taking/low harm avoidance [RTHA], excitement seeking [ES]), (ii) to test hypotheses regarding the association between each dimension and alcohol use and problems, and (iii) to test the hypothesis that antisociality (social deviance proneness [SDP]) accounts for the direct association between IMP and alcohol problems, while ES is directly related to alcohol use. Measures of disinhibited personality IMP, RTHA, ES and SDP and alcohol use and problems were assessed in a sample of young adults (N = 474), which included a high proportion of individuals with AUDs.

Confirmatory factor analyses supported a three-factor model of disinhibited personality reflecting IMP, RTHA, and ES. A structural equation model (SEM) showed that IMP was specifically associated with alcohol problems, while ES was specifically associated with alcohol use. In a second SEM, SDP accounted for the majority of the variance in alcohol problems associated with IMP.

The results suggest that aspects of IMP associated with SDP represent a direct vulnerability to alcohol problems. In addition, the results suggest that ES reflects a specific vulnerability to excessive alcohol use, which is then associated with alcohol problems, while RTHA is not specifically associated with alcohol use or problems when controlling for IMP and ES.

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