Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Stud Alcohol. 1997 Jan;58(1):48-66.

Cloninger's tridimensional theory of personality and psychopathology: applications to substance use disorders.

Author information

  • 1National Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate studies that applied Cloninger's tridimensional theory of personality to substance abusers.

METHODS:

Medline and PsychInfo data bases were searched for studies published between 1986 and mid-1995 that used the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ). A supplemental manual search was conducted to identify additional evaluations of the tridimensional theory. Reports were reviewed if they included substance abusers or related tridimensional traits to substance use measures.

RESULTS:

Factor analyses did not consistently support the tridimensionality of the TPQ. Novelty Seeking (NS) traits distinguished alcoholics from nonalcoholics, Type B and Type 2 alcoholics from their Type A and Type 1 counterparts, smokers from nonsmokers, and individuals (substance abusers and nonabusers) with and without antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Tridimensional traits independently predicted early onset alcohol abuse and serious delinquency in studies that did not employ the TPQ and were significantly associated with concurrent substance abuse among adolescents. Most studies that compared nonalcoholic youth with positive and negative family histories of alcoholism reported nonsignificant TPQ differences or very small effects. Few alcoholics, cigarette smokers or sons of alcoholics displayed Type 1 (low novelty seeking, high harm avoidance, high reward dependence) or Type 2 (high novelty seeking, low harm avoidance, low reward dependence) TPQ profiles, but rarely were levels of tridimensional traits determined by reference to established norms.

CONCLUSIONS:

NS predicts early onset alcohol abuse and criminality and discriminates alcoholics exhibiting antisocial behavior and persons with ASPD from their nonantisocial counterparts. Findings for the Harm Avoidance (HA) and Reward Dependence TPQ subscales are much less consistent. Some support for the role of elevated HA in intensity of substance use has been adduced. At present, the utility of the TPQ for prevention or clinical purposes is not well established.

PMID:
8979213
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Dartmouth Journal Services
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk