Binge eating, problem drinking, and pathological gambling: Linking behavior to shared traits and social learning

Sarah Fischer, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations

Abstract

Varied definitions of the construct impulsivity may account for inconsistencies in studies that examine its relationship to bulimic symptoms, pathological gambling, and alcohol abuse. We examined the influence of urgency, sensation seeking, lack of planning, and lack of persistence on these three addictive behavior patterns in 246 college students. In structural equation modeling analyses that included all four constructs, only urgency, defined as the tendency to act rashly when distressed, explained significant variance in symptom level for each of the three addictive behaviors. Sensation seeking related to frequency of gambling and drinking, but not to symptoms of abuse. Additionally, behavior specific expectancies moderated the effect of urgency on gambling for men and binge eating for women. Urgency may influence vulnerability to many types of addictive behaviors. However, whether or not individuals engage in drinking, gambling, or binge eating may be influenced by behavior specific expectancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-800
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Portions of this research were supported by a University of Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fellowship to Sarah Fischer. Portions of this research were supported by NIAAA grant # F31 AA014469-02 to Sarah Fischer, Under the supervision of Gregory T. Smith.

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Bulimia
  • Eating disorders
  • Gambling
  • Impulsivity
  • Sensation seeking
  • Urgency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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