Relation between personality and drinking motives in young adults

ArticleinPersonality and Individual Differences 29(3):495-511 · September 2000with 503 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/S0191-8869(99)00210-X
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to place drinking motives within the context of the Five-Factor Model of personality. Specifically, we sought to determine whether certain personality domains and facets of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) predict Enhancement, Coping, Social, and/or Conformity drinking motives from the Revised Drinking Motives Questionnaire (DMQ-R). A sample of 256 university student drinkers (M age =21.3 years) completed the NEO-PI-R and DMQ-R. In bivariate correlations, the two negative reinforcement motives (Coping and Conformity) were positively correlated with Neuroticism and negatively correlated with Extraversion. The two positive reinforcement motives (Enhancement and Social) were positively correlated with Extraversion and negatively correlated with Conscientiousness. Multiple regression analyses revealed that personality domain scores predicted two of the four drinking motives (i.e. the internal drinking motives of Coping and Enhancement), after controlling for the influences of alternative drinking motives. Enhancement Motives were predicted by high Extraversion and low Conscientiousness, and Coping Motives by high Neuroticism. Supplementary correlational analyses involving certain personality facet scores revealed that the depression and self-consciousness facets of the Neuroticism domain were positively correlated with residual Coping and Conformity Motives, respectively, and that the excitement-seeking and gregariousness facets of the Extraversion domain were positively correlated with residual Enhancement and Social Motives, respectively. These results provide further validation of Cox and Klinger’s 2×2 (valence [positive vs negative reinforcement]×source [internal vs external]) model of drinking motivations, and confirm previous speculations that drinking motives are distinguishable on the basis of personality domains and facets. Understanding the relations between personality and drinking motives may prove useful in identifying young drinkers whose drinking motivations may portend the development of heavy and/or problem drinking.

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