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The comorbidity of Cluster B personality disorders (PDs) and substance use disorders (SUDs) is well established but factors underlying their relationship are less well understood. This study examined the role of higher-order personality traits in men and women with Cluster B PD symptoms and SUDs. Self-report indices of negative emotionality (NEM), impulsivity, Cluster B PD symptoms, and SUDs were collected from 617 university students (n=316 women). Results indicated that high NEM was associated with antisocial PD, borderline PD, and narcissistic PD. High impulsivity was associated with antisocial PD and histrionic PD. Neither personality trait was common to all Cluster B PDs. Similarly, problems associated with drug and alcohol use were uniquely related to high NEM and impulsivity, respectively. Gender moderated the relationship between NEM and symptoms of borderline PD. Although personality traits were correlated with PD symptoms and substance use problems, these traits were largely unable to provide causal links between Cluster B PDs and SUDs.
Mediation, Personality Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Personality Traits
Date of Defense
April 28, 2005.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Jeanette Taylor, Professor Directing Thesis; Alan R. Lang, Committee Member; Ashby Plant, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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