Efficacy of cognitive-behavioral interventions targeting personality risk factors for youth alcohol misuse

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2006 Dec;35(4):550-63. doi: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3504_6.


Sensation seeking, anxiety sensitivity, and hopelessness are personality risk factors for alcohol use disorders, each associated with specific risky drinking motives in adolescents. We developed a set of interventions and manuals that were designed to intervene at the level of personality risk and associated maladaptive coping strategies, including alcohol misuse. Manuals contained psychoeducational information on the target personality risk factor and how it is associated with maladaptive coping, as well as exercises targeting maladaptive cognitions and behaviors specific to each personality type. We tested the efficacy of these novel interventions on reducing drinking behavior by randomly assigning 297 Canadian high school students (56% girls, mean age 16, mean grade 11) to personality-targeted interventions (group format; 2 sessions) or to a no-treatment control group. Intent-to-treat analyses indicated beneficial effects of the intervention and Intervention x Personality interactions on drinking rates, drinking quantity, binge drinking, and problem drinking symptoms at 4-month follow-up.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Canada
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Drinking Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality Disorders / complications
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Distribution
  • Treatment Outcome