Investigating the behavioral constructs of impulsivity domains using principal component analysis

Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut 06106, USA.
Behavioural pharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.15). 10/2009; 20(5-6):390-9. DOI: 10.1097/FBP.0b013e32833113a3
Source: PubMed


Impulsivity, often defined as a human behavior characterized by the inclination of an individual to act on urge rather than thought, with diminished regard to consequences, encompasses a range of maladaptive behaviors, which are in turn affected by distinct neural systems. Congruent with the above definition, behavioral studies have consistently shown that the underlying construct of impulsivity is multidimensional in nature. However, research to date has been inconclusive regarding the different domains or constructs that constitute this behavior. In addition there is also no clear consensus as to whether self-report and laboratory based measures of impulsivity measure the same or different domains. This study aimed to: (i) characterize the underlying multidimensional construct of impulsivity using a sample with varying degrees of putative impulsivity related to substance misuse, including subjects who were at-risk of substance use or addicted (ARA), and (ii) assess relationships between self-report and laboratory measures of impulsivity, using a principal component-based factor analysis. In addition, our supplementary goal was to evaluate the structural constructs of impulsivity within each group separately (healthy and ARA). We used five self-report measures (Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System, Barratt Impulsivity Scale-11, Padua Inventory, Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale, and Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire) and two computer-based laboratory tasks (Balloon Analog Risk Task and the Experiential Discounting Task) to measure the aspects of impulsivity in a total of 176 adult subjects. Subjects included healthy controls (n = 89), nonalcoholic subjects with family histories of alcoholism (family history positive; n = 36) and both former (n = 20) and current (n = 31) cocaine users. Subjects with a family history of alcoholism and cocaine abusers were grouped together as 'at-risk/addicted' (ARA) to evaluate our supplementary goal. Our overall results revealed the multidimensional nature of the impulsivity construct as captured optimally through a five-factor solution that accounted for nearly 70% of the total variance. The five factors/components were imputed as follows 'Self-Reported Behavioral Activation', 'Self-Reported Compulsivity and Reward/Punishment', 'Self-Reported Impulsivity', 'Behavioral Temporal Discounting', and 'Behavioral Risk-Taking'. We also found that contrary to previously published reports, there was significant overlap between certain laboratory and self-report measures, indicating that they might be measuring the same impulsivity domain. In addition, our supplemental analysis also suggested that the impulsivity constructs were largely, but not entirely the same within the healthy and ARA groups.

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Available from: Shashwath A Meda,
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    • "Based on the definition of impulsivity above, lack of planning and lack of regard for future consequences are both important features of impulsivity, as is rapid responding to external and internal stimuli. Consistent with the multiple dimensions of impulsivity based on the definition, prior studies have shown that impulsivity is a multifaceted construct of which two or more components have typically been identified in factor analyses of both self-report and behavioral measures (Broos et al., 2012; Meda et al., 2009; Reynolds et al., 2008; Verdejo-Garcia et al., 2008). One component of impulsivity, rapid response impulsivity (discussed in the accompanying manuscript ), may be further fractionated into impulsive actions relating to refraining from initiating an action versus stopping an action that has been initiated (see Fineberg et al., 2014 and accompanying manuscript). "
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    ABSTRACT: Impulsivity critically relates to many psychiatric disorders. Given the multifaceted construct that impulsivity represents, defining core aspects of impulsivity is vital for the assessment and understanding of clinical conditions. Choice impulsivity (CI), involving the preferential selection of smaller sooner rewards over larger later rewards, represents one important type of impulsivity. The International Society for Research on Impulsivity (InSRI) convened to discuss the definition and assessment of CI and provide recommendations regarding measurement across species. Commonly used preclinical and clinical CI behavioral tasks are described, and considerations for each task are provided to guide CI task selection. Differences in assessment of CI (self-report, behavioral) and calculating CI indices (e.g., area-under-the-curve, indifference point, and steepness of discounting curve) are discussed along with properties of specific behavioral tasks used in preclinical and clinical settings. The InSRI group recommends inclusion of measures of CI in human studies examining impulsivity. Animal studies examining impulsivity should also include assessments of CI and these measures should be harmonized in accordance with human studies of the disorders being modeled in the preclinical investigations. The choice of specific CI measures to be included should be based on the goals of the study and existing preclinical and clinical literature using established CI measures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment 04/2015; 6(2):182-198. DOI:10.1037/per0000099 · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    • "Impulsivity is a multi-dimensional construct often associated with nicotine dependence and smoking (Chase & Hogarth, 2011; Rezvanfard, Ekhtiari, Mokri, Djavid, & Kaviani, 2010; Sheffer et al., 2012); however, the results supporting impulsivity as a prognostic indicator of relapse have been mixed (Powell, Dawkins, West, & Pickering, 2010). Impulsivity is generally thought to subsume many aspects of reward seeking and disinhibition (Flory & Manuck, 2009; Mitchell, 1999) as well as several aspects of what is often considered trait impulsiveness (Lane, Cherek, Pietras, & Tcheremissine, 2003; Meda et al., 2009; Reynolds, Ortengren, Richards, & de Wit, 2006). Consistent with this conceptualization, trait impulsiveness is positively associated with the subjective rewarding effects of nicotine (Perkins et al., 2008) as well as explicit expectancies about nicotine reward (Doran, McChargue, & Cohen, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that several dimensions of impulsivity and locus of control are likely to be significant prognostic indicators of relapse. We compared the relative strengths of associations among delay discounting rates, dimensions of trait impulsiveness from the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale - 11, locus of control, nicotine dependence, and stress level with days to relapse among smokers after an intensive multicomponent cognitive-behavioral treatment for tobacco dependence. We used Cox proportional hazard regressions to model days to relapse with each of the following: delay discounting of $100, delay discounting of $1,000, six subscales of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS), Rotter’s Locus of Control (RLOC), Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Standardized regression coefficients and hazard ratios (HRs) were used to assess the relative strength and direction of the associations along with a bootstrap method to determine 95% confidence intervals. We then examined the extent to which the measures retained associations with days to relapse while accounting for nicotine dependence and stress level. Our findings indicate that the $100 delay discounting rate had the strongest association with days to relapse, but was only significantly stronger than nicotine dependence. Discounting rates maintained significant associations with days to relapse when combined with the FTND and the PSS, but the BIS subscales and the RLOC did not. These findings indicate that delay discounting is independently associated with relapse and adds to what is already accounted for by nicotine dependence and stress level. These findings signify that delay discounting is a productive new target for enhancing treatment for tobacco dependence. Adding an intervention designed to decrease discounting rates to a comprehensive treatment for tobacco dependence has the potential to decrease relapse rates.
    Addictive Behaviors 11/2014; 39(11). DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.04.019 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    • "As proximate measures of the neurobiology underlying impulsive behavior, neurocognitive instruments serve as indicators of endophenotypes, which may represent particularly attractive therapeutic targets (Gottesman & Gould, 2003). Although a number of studies suggest some degree of correspondence between self-report and neurocognitive tasks of impulsivity (Christiansen, Cole, Goudie, & Field, 2012), there are more data to suggest that these disparate measures should not be referred to under the same rubric (Aichert et al., 2012; Christiansen et al., 2012; Cyders & Coskunpinar, 2011; Dom, De Wilde, Hulstijn, & Sabbe, 2007; Meda et al., 2009; Reynolds et al., 2006). Indeed, the small magnitude of the observed effect sizes indicates that largely, there is more variability in what is being assessed via self-report and neurocognitive tasks of impulsivity than there is overlapping content domain (Cyders & Coskunpinar, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: With the current review, we explore the hypothesis that individual differences in neurocognitive aspects of impulsivity (i.e., cognitive and motor disinhibition, delay discounting and impulsive decision-making) among individuals with a substance use disorder are linked to unfavorable addiction treatment outcomes, including high drop-out rates and difficulties in achieving and maintaining abstinence. A systematic review of the literature was carried out using PubMed, PsycINFO and Web of Knowledge searches. Twenty-five unique empirical papers were identified and findings were considered in relation to the different impulsivity dimensions. Although conceptual/methodological heterogeneity and lack of replication are key limitations of studies in this area, findings speak for a prominent role of cognitive disinhibition, delay discounting and impulsive decision-making in the ability to successfully achieve and maintain abstinence during and following addiction treatment. In contrast, indices of motor disinhibition appear to be unrelated to abstinence levels. Whereas the relationship between impulsivity and treatment retention needs to be examined more extensively, preliminary evidence suggests that impulsive/risky decision-making is unrelated to premature treatment drop-out among individuals with a substance use disorder. The reviewed findings are discussed in terms of their clinical implications.
    Journal of substance abuse treatment 07/2014; 47(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jsat.2014.01.008 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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