Relationship between craving and personality in treatment-seeking women with substance-related disorders

BMC Psychiatry. 2003 Jan 13;3:1. doi: 10.1186/1471-244x-3-1. Epub 2003 Jan 13.


Background: Individual differences may impact susceptibility to addiction. The impact of personality features on drug craving, however, has not been studied, particularly in women.

Methods: Ninety-five treatment-seeking women with substance dependence, abstinent for at least 5 and no more than 21 days, were investigated regarding the correlation between personality factors and craving. Personality was assessed using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), the NEO Personality Inventory Revised (NEO-PI-R), and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale version 11 (BIS-11). Cravings were assessed through the Pennsylvania Craving Scale (PCS), and the Craving Questionnaire (CQ). Anxiety and depressive symptomatology were also recorded.

Results: Craving scores were positively correlated with depression and negatively correlated with number of days abstinent from substance use. Also, craving scores were positively associated with the novelty-seeking factor from the TCI and the total score on the BIS-11, and negatively associated with the conscientiousness and agreeableness facets of the NEO-PI-R.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that personality features, particularly impulsiveness, can be important predictors of craving in women, which has important implications for treatment planning.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive / diagnosis
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology*
  • Exploratory Behavior / classification
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Personality / classification*
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*