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J Stud Alcohol. 2001 Jan;62(1):98-104.

Cloninger's temperament and character dimensions in young adulthood and their relation to characteristics of parental alcohol use and smoking.

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Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland. ravaja@HKKK.FI



We examined the relationship of parental alcohol use (i.e., the frequency of alcohol intake and getting drunk) and smoking to Cloninger's temperament dimensions (Novelty Seeking, Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence and Persistence) and character dimensions (Self-Directedness, Cooperativeness and Self-Transcendence) in young adulthood.


We used a 14-year longitudinal study of 1,849 (1,101 female) randomly selected healthy adolescents and young adults, and their parents. Alcohol consumption and smoking were self-reported by the parents. Offspring temperament and character were measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) 14 years later.


Maternal and paternal frequency of alcohol intake, getting drunk and smoking were associated with offspring temperament and character dimensions, particularly Novelty Seeking, in young adulthood for both men and women.


The results support the relevance of Cloninger's concepts and the TCI in identifying subjects with unique characteristics related to their family histories. Possible mediating mechanisms are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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