Personality traits and the development of nicotine, alcohol, and illicit drug disorders: Prospective links from adolescence to young adulthood

Irene J. Elkins, Serena M. King, Matt Mc Gue, William G Iacono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations

Abstract

The personality traits constraint (CN) and negative emotionality (NE) have been more (CN) or less (NE) consistently associated with alcoholism. The authors examined the association of personality at age 17 with timing of onset and with prospective prediction of nicotine, alcohol, and illicit drug disorders 3 years later in a twin sample (569 females; 432 males). Earlier onset of alcohol and drug disorders (by age 17) was related to significantly lower CN compared with later onsets (by age 20); high NE was related to either onset. NE, as well as CN, uniquely predicted new onsets of all 3 types of substance use disorders by follow-up, with preexisting substance disorders taken into account. Personality traits confer generalized risk for developing any substance disorder, though some traits are more strongly linked with some substance disorders than with others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-39
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume115
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Developmental
  • Nicotine
  • Personality
  • Substance abuse/dependence

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