Heavy, problematic college drinking predicts increases in impulsivity

Elizabeth N. Riley, Heather A. Davis, Richard Milich, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Impulsigenic personality traits are among the many factors demonstrated to predict drinking behavior among late adolescents. The current study tested the opposite possibility, that during the emerging adulthood developmental period, problematic drinking behavior predicts increases in impulsigenic traits. This possibility is important because such traits increase risk for multiple forms of dysfunction. Method: Using a prospective design, we studied the personality traits and drinking behavior of 458 traditional college freshmen over one year. Results: We found that drinking problems predicted increases in urgency (the tendency to act rashly when highly emotional), lack of planning (the tendency to act without forethought), and lack of perseverance (difficulty maintaining focus on a task). Conclusions: Maladaptive personality change may be one mechanism that increases risk transdiagnostically for some individuals who drink problematically during college. Increases in impulsigenic traits predictable from problem drinking put individuals at risk for not only more drinking, but a host of other negative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-798
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Volume79
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse under award numbers R01 AA016166 to Gregory Smith, P50 DA05312 to Michael Bardo, and T32DA035200 to Craig Rush. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse under award numbers R01AA016166 to Gregory Smith, P50 DA05312 to Michael Bardo, and T32DA035200 to Craig Rush. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. *Correspondence may be sent to Elizabeth N. Riley at The University of Kentucky, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, 125 Kastle Hall, Room 111-H, Lexington, KY 40506, or via email at enri-ley1231@gmail.com.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Alcohol Research Documentation Inc.. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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