Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research 2017 09 13() doi 10.1111/acer.13497
Temperament and character dimensions of personality remain largely unexplored in young adults exhibiting binge drinking patterns. Moreover, the available studies do not consider gender differences, and dismiss possible personality heterogeneity among binge drinkers. In the present study, we aimed to compare temperament and character dimensions between young binge drinkers and age- and sex-matched social drinkers. We further applied cluster analysis to investigate the potential heterogeneity of personality patterns among binge drinking college students.
This study included 200 university students of 18-24 years of age, who were recruited via an invitation to take an alcohol use survey. These participants included 100 individuals (50 female and 50 male) with a binge drinking pattern, and 100 participants (50 female and 50 male) with a social drinking pattern. These subjects were evaluated with regards to their use of alcohol and other substances, impulsiveness, sensation-seeking, mood, and Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory.
Between-group comparisons revealed that both male and female binge drinkers were characterized by high levels of novelty-seeking, and low levels of persistence and self-directedness. However, cluster analyses within the binge drinker group revealed two distinct groups that differed between males and females. These groups shared similarities with Cloninger’s type I (high harm-avoidance) and II (high novelty-seeking) alcoholism typology.
The present findings support the subdivision of binge drinkers according to gender and personality dimensions. Male and female binge drinkers should not be considered a unitary group, but rather a population of individuals that encompasses at least two distinct personality patterns. These findings have major implications for prevention and treatment approaches. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.