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Addict Behav. 2012 Jan;37(1):102-7. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.09.006. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Personality and alcohol use: the role of impulsivity.

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Boston University School of Social Work, 264 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Research has shown that personality traits associated with impulsivity influence alcohol use during emerging adulthood, yet relatively few studies have examined how distinct facets of impulsivity are associated with alcohol use and abuse. We examine the influence of impulsivity traits on four patterns of alcohol use including frequency of alcohol use, alcohol-related problems, binge drinking, and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in a community sample of young individuals (N=190). In multivariate regression analyses that controlled for peer and parental alcohol use, psychological distress, and developmental correlates (i.e., college, marriage, employment) in emerging adulthood, we found that urgency and sensation seeking were consistently related to all four constructs of alcohol use. The present study suggests that distinct impulsivity traits may play different roles in escalation of alcohol use and development of AUDs during emerging adulthood.

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