Article

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

ABSTRACT

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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    • "In these efforts for example, using new compulsivity scales like the Dutch Dimensional Obsessive Compulsive Scale (DDOCS, in press) or the DSM-5 obsessive–compulsive spectrum scale (LeBeau et al., 2013) should be considered. As an example of data-driven approaches, a factor structure derived from principalcomponents analysis assessing impulsivity-related measures in healthy and addicted individuals identified self-reported compulsivity as linking to measures of reward and punishment sensitivity (Meda et al., 2009). This factor grouping has been replicated in an independent college-gambling sample (Ginley et al., 2014) and linked to cocaine addiction (Hyatt et al., 2012), a familial history of alcoholism (Yarosh et al., 2014) and changes in drinking behaviors among college students (Dager et al., 2014). "
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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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