On the Validity and Utility of Discriminating Among Impulsivity-Like Traits

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Assessment (Impact Factor: 3.29). 07/2007; 14(2):155-70. DOI: 10.1177/1073191106295527
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The ability to make precise distinctions among related personality constructs helps clarify theory and increases the utility of clinical assessment. In three studies, the authors evaluated the validity of distinctions among four impulsivity-like traits: sensation seeking, lack of planning, lack of persistence, and urgency (acting rashly when distressed). Factor analyses indicated that lack of planning and lack of persistence are two distinct facets of one broader trait, whereas urgency and sensation seeking are both very modestly related to each other and to the planning/persistence measures. The authors developed interview assessments of each, and multitrait, multimethod matrix results indicated clear convergent and discriminant validity among the constructs. The distinctions among them were useful: The traits accounted for different aspects of risky behaviors. Sensation seeking appeared to relate to the frequency of engaging in risky behaviors, and urgency appeared to relate to problem levels of involvement in those behaviors.

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    • "The 12-item sensation seeking scale contains questions such as " I quite enjoy taking risks " and has excellent reliability (Cronbach's alpha, experiment 1: 0.87, experiment 2: 0.89). UPPS self-report sensation seeking has previously been validated against clinical interviews (Smith et al. 2007) and has been linked to numerous risky behaviors, such as alcohol misuse (Shin et al. 2012) and drinking frequency (Karyadi et al. 2012), smoker status (Spillane et al. 2010) and general risk behavior (Cyders and Smith 2008)). Items are assessed on a 4-item scale ranging from 1 (agree strongly) to 4 (disagree strongly); mean scores (out of four) were calculated and used in all analyses. "
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    ABSTRACT: sec> Objective The ability to inhibit motor responses has recently been linked to risk-taking behaviour, including gambling. This suggests that those with high trait levels of sensation seeking, the major personality determinant of risk taking, may have poorer response inhibition. We provide converging evidence to support this: first by testing whether performance on a stop-signal response inhibition task is related to levels of sensation seeking, and second, by assessing whether variation in sensation seeking is associated with variation in grey matter volumes of a brain region causally implicated in response inhibition, the right inferior frontal gyrus. Method For study one, 87 healthy subjects (25 males) completed a measure of sensation seeking together with a stop-signal task. For study two, 152 healthy subjects (45 males) completed the sensation seeking measure and underwent T1-weighted MRI at 3 T. We carried out a voxel-based morphometry analysis using diffeomorphic anatomical registration through exponentiated lie (DARTEL) algebra to examine grey matter volumes, with a region of interest centred on the right inferior frontal gyrus. Results UPPS Sensation Seeking, but not other impulsivity facets, correlated with performance on the Stop-Signal task, with higher sensation seeking associated with poorer response inhibition, indexed by larger mean stop signal reaction time. The DARTEL analysis revealed significant negative associations between sensation seeking and grey matter volumes in the right inferior frontal gyrus, as well as the right orbitofrontal cortex and right middle temporal gyrus. Conclusion These findings provide converging evidence to support the link between risk taking and motor inhibition, both at a psychological level and at a biological level. These findings may explain why individuals with disinhibitory disorders sharing genetic variation with sensation seeking show poor response inhibition and suggest a key role of the right inferior frontal gyrus in self-control. </sec
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 09/2015; 86(9). DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2015-311750.39 · 6.81 Impact Factor
    • "tion regulation , which put them at risk for increasing levels of aggressive be - havior ( Frick & Morris , 2004 ) . Third , lower orderliness and perseverance were also unique risk factors for the develop - ment of high increasing aggression . Previous studies showed that a lack of orderliness and perseverance relate to lower school performance ( Smith et al . , 2007 ) , which may lead to frustration and a subsequent increase of aggressive behavior . Fourth , low concentration was a unique risk factor for the de - velopment of rule breaking . Low concentration may represent a tendency for low constraint , making these children vulner - able to develop rule - breaking behavior into adolescence ( Burt"
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined trajectories of aggression and rule breaking during the transition from childhood to adolescence (ages 9–15), and determined whether these trajectories were predicted by lower order personality facets, overreactive parenting, and their interaction. At three time points separated by 2-year intervals, mothers and fathers reported on their children's aggression and rule breaking ( N = 290, M age = 8.8 years at Time 1). At Time 1, parents reported on their children's personality traits and their own overreactivity. Growth mixture modeling identified three aggression trajectories (low decreasing, high decreasing, and high increasing) and two rule-breaking trajectories (low and high). Lower optimism and compliance and higher energy predicted trajectories for both aggression and rule breaking, whereas higher expressiveness and irritability and lower orderliness and perseverance were unique risk factors for increasing aggression into adolescence. Lower concentration was a unique risk factor for increasing rule breaking. Parental overreactivity predicted higher trajectories of aggression but not rule breaking. Only two Trait × Overreactivity interactions were found. Our results indicate that personality facets could differentiate children at risk for different developmental trajectories of aggression and rule breaking.
    Development and Psychopathology 07/2015; DOI:10.1017/S0954579415000577 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    • "These four dimensions correlated with and differently predict risky behaviors and clinical symptoms that may be associated with ADHD. Hence urgency may relate to both mood disorders, substance dependence and craving (Billieux et al., 2007; Verdejo-García et al., 2007), pathological gambling (Billieux et al., 2012), cyber addictions (Billieux et al., 2010), or eating disorders (Mobbs et al., 2010); lack of perseverance to procrastination-related behaviors (Dewitte and Schouwenburg, 2002) and risky sexual conducts (Miller and Lynam, 2003); lack of premeditation to antisocial personality, and substance abuse (Miller et al., 2003); and sensation seeking to drug and alcohol use as well as with gambling and delinquent acts (Miller et al., 2003; Smith et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to compare adult patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and matched controls on four dimensions of impulsivity (urgency, lack of premeditation, lack of perseverance, and sensation seeking) and to examine the association between impulsivity and ADHD symptoms. The study was conducted on 219 participants: 72 adult ADHD patients and 147 aged and gender matched controls. All participants completed questionnaires measuring the various facets of impulsivity (UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale), ADHD and depressive symptoms severity. Patients were also assessed for ADHD subtypes, mood disorders, and addictive behaviors. ADHD patients exhibited higher urgency, lower premeditation and lower perseverance in comparison to controls. Lack of perseverance showed the strongest association with ADHD (area under curve=0.95). Patients with combined inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive subtypes reported more frequently substance abuse problems and had higher scores on urgency and sensation seeking dimensions of impulsivity than those with predominantly inattentive subtype. We report for the first time a multidimensional evaluation of impulsivity in adult ADHD patients. The UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale may constitute a useful screening tool for ADHD in adults and may help to further understanding the psychological mechanisms underlying the differences between the ADHD subgroups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Psychiatry Research 03/2015; 227:290-295. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.03.023 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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