Facets of Impulsivity in the Relationship Between Antisocial Personality and Abstinence

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Antisocial Personality Disorder, Impulsivity, Abstinence, Substance use treatment, Treatment dropout

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Most individuals who enter drug treatment programs are unable to maintain long-term abstinence. This problem is especially relevant for those presenting with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). In examining potential mechanisms underlying the relationship between ASPD and abstinence, one factor that may be especially useful is the personality variable of impulsivity. Thus, the current study examined ASPD status in relation to longest abstinence attempt among 117 substance use treatment-seeking individuals, considering the mediating role of five facets of impulsivity: urgency, perseverance, premeditation, control, and delay discounting. Results indicated that individuals with ASPD evidenced shorter previous abstinence attempts and lower levels of perseverance and control than those without ASPD. Further, lower levels of control were associated with shorter abstinence attempts. Finally, control mediated the relationship between ASPD and longest quit attempt. These results suggest the potential value of multiple facets of impulsivity in efforts to understand relapse and subsequent treatment development efforts.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Addictive Behaviors, v. 37, issue 3, p. 293-298