Do Personality Characteristics Predict Future Alcohol Problems After Considering Current Demography, Substance Use, And Alcohol Response?

Certain personality traits have been identified as predictors of future alcohol-related issues. However, these traits are also connected to various demographic and substance-related factors and few studies have investigated whether personality traits continue to predict alcohol problems when accounting for current demographic and substance-related factors.  

This study followed 414 non-alcohol use disorder (AUD) drinkers from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (average age 20, 44% male) over approximately 9 years. Baseline data included demographics, family history of AUD, substance use and issues, psychiatric history, alcohol response level measured by the Self-Report of the Effects of alcohol (SRE) questionnaire, and personality traits from various scales. Analyses involved correlations between baseline measures and the highest number of DSM-IV AUD criteria met during follow-up. Hierarchical regression analyses assessed whether personality traits added predictive value for alcohol problems when adjusting for other baseline factors. 

The study suggests that many personality traits, along with lower alcohol response levels, can independently predict later alcohol problems. These predictions hold true even when considering baseline demographic and substance use measures. 

Schuckit MA, Smith TL, Danko G, Bucholz KK, Hesselbrock V, Hesselbrock M, Kuperman S, Kramer J, Nurnberger JI, Lai D, Chan G, Kamarajan C, Kuo S, Dick DM, Tear J, Mendoza LA, Edenberg HJ, Porjesz B (2023) Do personality characteristics predict future alcohol problems after considering current demography, substance use and alcohol response? Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research. PMID: 37073476; DOI: 10.1111/acer.15085.