Personality and Performance-Based Measures in the Prediction of Alcohol Use

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Research has demonstrated a variable relationship between alcohol consumption and self-report personality measures of novelty seeking and harm avoidance. Research has also demonstrated a relationship between performance-based measures of risk taking and substance use. The current study compared the utility of personality measures and performance-based measures in the prediction of alcohol use. The authors hypothesized that the domains would contribute uniquely and would also interact in the prediction of alcohol consumption. Data on alcohol consumption were collected on a daily basis for 2 weeks. Performance-based measures included the Bechara Gambling Task and the Balloon Analogue Risk Task. The Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire was the primary personality measure. Results partially supported hypotheses, in that personality measures showed strong relationships with alcohol use and interacted with performance-based measures in predicting alcohol consumption. Thus, both behavioral and personality measures contributed to prediction of alcohol consumption, and performance-based measures played a moderating role. Results suggest that a combination of behavioral and self-report personality measures may be useful for those screening groups for risk factors for excessive alcohol consumption.

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