Impulsivity and negative emotionality associated with substance use problems and Cluster B personality in college students

Lisa M James, Jeanette Taylor
Addictive Behaviors 2007, 32 (4): 714-27
The co-occurrence of personality disorders (PDs) and substance use disorders (SUDs) can be partially attributed to shared underlying personality traits. This study examined the role of negative emotionality (NEM) and impulsivity in 617 university students with self-reported substance use problems and Cluster B PD symptoms. Results indicated that NEM was significantly associated with drug and alcohol use problems, antisocial PD, borderline PD, and narcissistic PD. Impulsivity was significantly associated with drug use problems, antisocial PD, and histrionic PD. Only NEM mediated the relationship between alcohol use problems and symptoms of each of the Cluster B PDs while impulsivity mediated only the relationship between drug use problems and histrionic PD. These results suggest that NEM may be more relevant than impulsivity to our understanding of the co-occurrence between substance use problems and Cluster B PD features.


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