Gender Differences and Similarities in the Personality Correlates of Adolescent Alcohol Problems

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The personality traits of behavioral undercontrol (BU) and negative emotionality (NE) are associated with alcohol problems. The authors examined gender differences in the associations of BU and NE with alcohol problems in 710 adolescents recruited from community and treatment sources. Multiple measures were used to characterize each construct, and the specified 2-factor model provided a reasonably good fit to the data. ANCOVAs were used to examine each construct by gender across four groups: never-regular drinkers, regular drinkers, and those with DSM–IV alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Males had significantly higher BU and lower NE than did females. BU and NE both increased with degree of alcohol problems. However, there was not a significant Gender × Alcohol Group interaction for BU or NE. Although there are gender differences in levels of BU and NE, mechanisms of alcohol involvement related to these 2 personality traits may operate similarly in adolescent males and females.

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