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Behav Genet. 1995 Mar;25(2):133-47.

Personality, psychopathology, and nicotine response as mediators of the genetics of smoking.

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Department of Psychology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 62901, USA.


Individual differences in psychopathology, personality, and nicotine responsivity and their biological bases are evaluated as mechanisms potentially mediating smoking heritability. Smokers are more likely to be high in neurotic traits (e.g., depression, anxiety, anger) and in social alienation (psychoticism, impulsivity, unsocialized sensation-seeking, low conscientiousness, low agreeableness) and low in achievement/socioeconomic status. Psychological and biological mechanisms putatively mediating these associations are reviewed. It is concluded that a number of relatively indirect and complex processes, as well as more direct (e.g., self-medication for psychopathology, nicotine sensitivity), mediate the inheritance of smoking behavior.

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