Impulsivity and alcohol involvement: Multiple, distinct constructs and processes


Of all the personality traits associated with prob-lematic alcohol involvement, traits related to impulsivity ap-pear to show the most robust relations to alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. This article reviews both seminal articles that focus on broadband measures of impulsivity and newer research linking more specific impulsivity-related traits to the development and course of problematic alcohol in-volvement, with a specific focus on self-report measures of impulsivity-related traits. Specifically, empirical support for different theoretical models that account for the overlap be-tween impulsivity-related traits and problematic alcohol in-volvement is discussed, including current limitations of existing research. Recent studies suggest that specific impul-sivity constructs relate to distinct aspects of alcohol-related behavior. Further, there is emerging evidence that problematic alcohol use and impulsivity-related traits are dynamically related, such that changes in these constructs appear to corre-late during specific developmental periods. We close by discussing potential research directions that may provide in-creased clarity in understanding the impulsivity–alcohol relation.

Current Addiction Reports