The MMPI-3 and personality correlates of maladaptive substance use

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alexa Jane Barrett (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
David McCord

Abstract: Maladaptive substance use is a serious, prevalent concern, with especially high prevalence rates found in the male and young adult populations. Research shows certain personality and psychopathology traits are strongly correlated with externalizing behaviors, including maladaptive substance use. Insight into the relationship between trait characteristics and substance use patterns may have implications for treatment outcomes. The current study is one of the first to examine associations between Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3) traits and substance use on the Comprehensive Addictions and Psychological Evaluation, Fifth Edition (CAAPE-5). This study expands upon literature on the relationship between personality and psychopathology traits and use of alcohol and marijuana through correlational analysis of the MMPI-3 scales and CAAPE-5 data. Over two hundred college students participated, with findings demonstrating high rates of maladaptive substance use. The rate of overall substance use reported was lower than statistics from a nation-wide survey, but the current study sample displayed much higher rates of alcohol and cannabis use than seen in a nation-wide sample. Correlational analysis of MMPI-3 traits within the Behavioral/Externalizing Dysfunction domain revealed moderate to strong correlations with overall substance use and alcohol use. Aside from Demoralization, traits within the Emotional/Internalizing Dysfunction domain were insignificantly correlated with overall substance use and marijuana use. Gender was not found to be a moderating effect on the association between Disconstraint and alcohol use. The findings from this study emphasize personality and psychopathology trait considerations when examining substance misuse among college students. Strong correlations between traits and substance misuse indicate treatment interventions that address individual characteristics that can influence substance misuse and vice versa may be beneficial. Additionally, this study highlights the value of using the MMPI-3 in research on substance misuse.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
Personality tests
Substance abuse
Personality -- Substance abuse
Psychology, Pathological -- Substance abuse

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