Differences in impulsivity and sensation seeking between early- and late-onset alcoholics
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SourceAddictive Behaviors, 31, 2, (2006), pp. 298-308
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ NICI CO
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
The personality traits of impulsivity and sensation seeking have been proposed as important features of early-onset alcoholism. Early-onset (EOA, n = 62) and late-onset (LOA, n = 68 ) alcoholic inpatients were compared as to the severity of their substance use and related problems, and self-report scales measuring impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, version 11), sensation seeking (Sensation Seeking Scale), and aggressiveness (Buss Durkee Hostility Inventory). The symptom severity of the EOAs' alcohol-use disorder and related problems was higher than that of the LOAs. Furthermore, the EOAs had higher levels of impulsivity, sensation seeking, and aggression relative to the LOAs. The differences in impulsivity remained after an analysis controlling for the effect of aggressiveness. Finally, cigarette smoking was positively correlated with impulsiveness across alcoholic subgroups. Active screening for impulsive traits in treatment-seeking alcohol-abusing populations is recommended to improve treatment planning and prevent early drop-out.
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