A test of the four-factor model of impulsivity-related traits

Joshua Miller, Kate Flory, Donald Lynam, Carl Leukefeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

286 Scopus citations


In a recent article, Whiteside and Lynam [Person. Indiv. Diff. 30 (2001) 669] proposed a new model for understanding personality pathways to impulsive behavior. Their UPPS model maintains that there are four personality dimensions that are related differentially to impulsive behaviors: urgency, sensation seeking, (lack of) premeditation, and (lack of) perseverance. The purpose of the current study was to provide validation for this model and to test some of the specific hypotheses offered by Whiteside and Lynam. The sample used in this study consisted of 481 individuals who completed mailed surveys at age 20 and an in-depth laboratory protocol at age 21. Zero-order correlations and multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relations between the four personality traits and various forms of externalizing behaviors, several types of internalizing psychopathology, and intelligence. Results revealed that the four traits were differentially related to various behaviors and forms of psychopathology consistent with many of Whiteside and Lynam's predictions. Therefore, the UPPS model does appear to offer a novel and useful way of understanding behaviors and forms of psychopathology considered to be characterized by some form of impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1418
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the University of Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund Fellowship to the first author.


  • Externalizing
  • Impulsivity
  • Internalizing
  • Personality
  • UPPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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