Combining trait models of impulsivity to improve explanation of substance use behaviour

Stautz, Kaidy; Dinc, Linda and Cooper, Andrew. 2017. Combining trait models of impulsivity to improve explanation of substance use behaviour. European Journal of Personality, 31(1), pp. 118-132. ISSN 0890-2070 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The UPPS-P model of impulsivity is gaining popularity among personality and substance use researchers, but questions remain as to whether its five facets have incremental validity in explaining substance use over a more parsimonious model specifying only two facets: reward drive and rash impulsiveness. In three cross-sectional studies (total N = 486), we investigated whether the novel components of the UPPS-P model (negative Urgency, Premeditation, Perseverance, Sensation seeking, Positive urgency) predicted typical and problematic alcohol and cannabis use after accounting for reward drive, rash impulsiveness and trait neuroticism (assessed with the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire). Reward drive and rash impulsiveness scores were calculated using principal components analysis of multiple scales, including UPPS-P premeditation and sensation seeking. Results showed that rash impulsiveness was a robust predictor of typical and problematic substance use. The novel facets of the UPPS-P did not improve prediction of typical substance use. The urgency scales inconsistently predicted problematic use. Specifically, negative urgency predicted one of three measures of negative consequences from alcohol use, and positive urgency only predicted negative consequences from cannabis use. Results suggest that the three novel facets of the UPPS-P model add little over a two component model in explaining substance use, although may provide preliminary evidence for the utility of a revised global urgency construct in explaining problematic substance use.

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impulsivity, urgency, substance use, alcohol, cannabis

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21 December 2016Accepted
9 January 2017Published Online
7 February 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

25 May 2017 16:18

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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