Understanding the role of impulsivity and externalizing psychopathology in alcohol abuse: Application of the UPPS impulsive behavior scale

Stephen P. Whiteside, Donald R. Lynam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

273 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study explores the relation among 4 personality traits associated with impulsive behavior and alcohol abuse. Personality traits were measured using the 4 subscales of the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale (UPPS; S. P. Whiteside & D. R. Lynam, 2001). The UPPS and measures of psychopathology were administered to clinical samples of alcohol abusers high in antisocial personality traits (AAPD), alcohol abusers low in antisocial personality traits (AA), and a control group (total N = 60). Separate analyses of variance indicated that AAPDs had significant elevations on all 4 UPPS scales, whereas the AAs and controls differed only on the Urgency subscale. However, when controlling for psychopathology, group differences on the UPPS scales disappeared. The results suggest that personality traits related to impulsive behavior are not directly related to alcohol abuse but rather are associated with the elevated levels of psychopathology found in a subtype of alcohol abusers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-217
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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