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J Subst Abuse. 1993;5(4):401-10.

Dispositional traits as risk in problem drinking.

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University of California, Irvine.


A trait-dispositional paradigm for conceptualizing personality provided the framework for investigating the relationship between personality dispositions and drinking problems. This approach was compared directly with personality research based on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). A total of 241 subjects (192 men and 49 women) were tested at a mandatory Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) first-offender education program. Information was gathered from the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at time of arrest, and two personality tests--the MacAndrew Alcoholism Scale (MAC) and the Problem Drinker Trait List (PDTL). The psychometric properties of the PDTL were analyzed and compared with those of the MAC. In comparing the two personality tests in terms of their capacity to predict drinking problems over a wide range of drinking severity, the PDTL performed as well or better than the MAC, particularly for drinkers with low arrest BAC. Comparative analysis between the best predictor items of the MAC and of the PDTL revealed little relationship between the item domains. The predictive trait clusters of the PDTL for men were Emotionality/Depressiveness, Impulsivity, and Low Self-Confidence, whereas predictive clusters for women included Depressiveness, Overcontrol, and Alienation.

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