Key Personality Traits and Alcohol Use Disorder Symptoms in First and Second Year College Students: Detangling Antecedent from Consequence
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Human Development and Family Studies
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Background. Studies have consistently shown that low constraint and high negative emotionality are associated with higher levels for alcohol use and greater alcohol related problems. Less research has examined associations between these traits and alcohol use disorder (AUD) from the first to second year of college, or evaluated gender differences in these associations. Methods. The College Experiences Study (N=209) was used to detangle antecedent vs. consequence between constraint, negative emotionality, and AUD symptoms using a cross-lagged panel model. Results. Providing evidence for a scar/complication model, greater AUD symptoms in the first year of college was predictive of decreases in constraint in the second year, but only for males. Surprisingly, negative emotionality was not associated with AUD for either gender. Conclusion. Increased education on college campuses regarding symptoms of AUD could provide knowledge and awareness for college students facing various challenges as a result of their alcohol use.