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Relationship of Family History, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Personality Traits in Young Men at Risk for Alcoholism:

Michie N. Hesselbrock, Victor M. Hesselbrock

Studies examining possible risk factors for the development of alcoholism have focused recently on a variety of personality factors, including those associated with risk-taking behaviors. Alcohol-seeking behavior leading to the abuse of alcohol may be associated with a variety of risk-taking behaviors that derive from certain personality traits. Further, there is evidence that personality traits are transmitted across generations. This study examined the relationship of a family history of alcoholism, antisocial personality disorder (ASP) and alcohol use to several personality traits including the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) in a sample (N = 91) of nonalcoholic, young male volunteers. The men with ASP scored higher than the non-ASP men on the Novelty Seeking Scale of the TPQ, but not on the Harm Avoidance or Reward Dependence subscales. In addition, ASP men scored higher than non-ASP men on a measure of impulsivity and tended to score higher on measures of sensation seeking, psychopathy and monotony avoidance. A family history of alcoholism did not differentiate the young men on any of the childhood behavior problems, personality measures or alcohol-related variables. (J. Stud. Alcohol 53: 619-625, 1992)