Differences in self-reported and behavioral measures of impulsivity in recreational and dependent cocaine users

Matthias Vonmoos, Lea M Hulka, Katrin H Preller, Daniela Jenni, Claudia Schulz, Markus R Baumgartner, Boris B Quednow
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2013 November 1, 133 (1): 61-70

BACKGROUND: Dependent cocaine users consistently display increased trait impulsivity on self-report questionnaires and less consistently exhibit elevated motor impulsivity in some behavioral tasks. However, trait and behavioral impulsivity measures have rarely been investigated in recreational users. Therefore, we examined self-reported trait and motor impulsivities in recreational and dependent cocaine users to clarify the role of impulse control in cocaine addiction and non-dependent cocaine use.

METHODS: We investigated relatively pure recreational (n=68) and dependent (n=30) cocaine users, as well as psychostimulant-naïve controls (n=68), with self-report questionnaires (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11; Temperament and Character Inventory) and behavioral tasks (Rapid Visual Information Processing Task; Stop-Signal Task).

RESULTS: Compared with controls, recreational and dependent cocaine users displayed higher trait impulsivity and novelty seeking scores on self-report questionnaires. Trait impulsivity scores were strongly associated with an increased number of symptoms of depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and correlated significantly with long-term cocaine intake parameters. By contrast, none of the behavioral motor impulsivity measures showed significant group effects or correlated with cocaine use parameters. The correlations among the self-report measures were high, but self-reports were scarcely correlated with behavioral task measures.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that relatively pure cocaine users already display increased trait impulsivity at a recreational level of use. However, the results do not indicate any cocaine-related elevation of behavioral impulsivity in terms of motor or response inhibition. In summary, our data imply that elevated trait impulsivity is not a specific feature of dependent cocaine use.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"