Predicting problematic alcohol use with the DSM 5 alternative model of personality pathology

Kasey G. Creswell, Rachel L. Bachrach, Aidan G.C. Wright, Anthony Pinto, Emily Ansell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


High comorbidity between personality disorders and alcohol use disorders appears related to individual differences in underlying personality dimensions of behavioral undercontrol and affective dysregulation. However, very little is known about how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition; DSM 5) Section III trait model of personality pathology relates to alcohol problems or how the strength of the relationship between personality pathology and alcohol problems changes with age and across gender. The current study examined these questions in a sample of 877 participants using the General Assessment of Personality Disorder to assess general personality dysfunction, the Personality Inventory for DSM 5 to measure specific traits, and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) to assess problematic alcohol use. Results demonstrated that general personality pathology (Criterion A) was significantly related to problematic alcohol use after controlling for age and gender effects. Furthermore, 2 of the 5 higher-order personality trait domains (Criterion B), Antagonism and Disinhibition, remained significant predictors of problematic alcohol use after accounting for the influence of general personality pathology; however, general personality pathology no longer predicted hazardous alcohol use once Antagonism and Disinhibition were added into the model. Finally, these 2 specific traits interacted with age, such that Antagonism was a stronger predictor of AUDIT scores among older individuals and Disinhibition was a stronger predictor of alcohol problems among younger individuals. Findings support the general validity of this new personality disorder diagnostic system and suggest important age effects in the relationship between traits and problematic alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol use
  • DSM-5
  • Five-factor model
  • Personality pathology
  • Personality traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting problematic alcohol use with the DSM 5 alternative model of personality pathology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this