Affectivity and Impulsivity: Temperament Risk for Adolescent Alcohol Involvement


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Abstract

Temperament has been regarded as theoretically important in the investigation of adolescent alcohol use. However, much of this research has accumulated findings about isolated temperament dimensions without adequately addressing how these dimensions may interact to influence alcohol use. The current study assessed joint effects of impulsivity, positive affectivity, and negative affectivity on adolescent alcohol use and alcohol-related impairment. Impulsivity was found to moderate the effects of positive affectivity on both alcohol use and alcohol-related impairment. Impulsive adolescents who were also characterized by low levels of positive affectivity evidenced higher levels of alcohol use and experienced more alcohol-related impairment than did impulsive adolescents with high positive affectivity or nonimpulsive adolescents. These findings suggest that it is important to consider multiple dimensions of temperament when examining adolescent alcohol involvement, as well as the linkages among the dimensions through moderational effects.

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