Personality and Disinhibitory Psychopathology: Alcoholism and Antisocial Personality Disorder

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We discuss the relation between personality factors and two adult forms of disinhibitory psychopathology—alcohol abuse or dependence and antisocial personality disorder. First, we briefly review various methodological issues relevant to research in this area. Next, we review empirical findings relating three broad-band personality trait dimensions (neuroticism/emotionality, impulsivity/disinhibition, extraversion/sociability) to both alcohol abuse and dependence and antisocial personality disorder. Finally, theoretical models of the relationship between personality and each of these two disorders are presented. We conclude the although no single personality description is likely to be both a sensitive and specific indicator of either alcoholism or antisocial personality disorder, personality variables are important components of etiological models of these disorders.

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