Five-factor model personality traits associated with alcohol-related diagnoses in a clinical sample

Christopher J. Hopwood, Leslie C. Morey, Andrew E. Skodol, Robert L. Stout, Shirley Yen, Emily B. Ansell, Carlos M. Grilo, Thomas H. McGlashan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objective: Personality variables may have important implications for the description and treatment of individuals with alcohol problems. The purpose of this article was to examine the specificity of previously observed trait/alcohol relations and the temporal relations of trait elevations and alcohol problems. Method: The relationships between Five-Factor Model personality traits, as measured by the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, and past and current alcohol diagnoses were examined among 704 participants in the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study (CLPS). Results: Results suggest that the traits previously found to be associated with alcohol-related problems in nonclinical populations also differentiate patients with alcohol-use disorders from other patients in the CLPS sample and that these traits correspond to findings using other personality models. In particular, alcohol use is characterized by relatively high impulsiveness and excitement seeking and low agreeableness (particularly trust) and conscientiousness (particularly deliberation and dutifulness). Although these traits were more specific to alcohol misuse than to general impairment in functioning, they were equally related to alcohol and substance-use diagnoses. There were few if any traits that differentiated individuals with current use diagnoses from those with a history of alcohol problems. Conclusions: Identified traits appear to represent stable predispositions to, or enduring effects of, substance use that are more specific than those that indicate general psychiatric impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-460
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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