[Assessment of Functional and Dysfunctional Impulsivity in Substance-Addicted Patients by Means of Dickman's Inventory]

Psicothema. 2009 Nov;21(4):585-91.
[Article in Spanish]


Impulsivity is a dispositional trait consistently linked to addiction. Nevertheless, Dickman proposed two different types of impulsivity, a functional variant and another, dysfunctional one. Almost all studies in addiction have exclusively explored the dysfunctional facet of impulsivity. The main purpose of this study was to check the applicability of the Dickman Impulsivity Inventory to explore both types of impulsivity in addicted individuals. We applied a Spanish version of the inventory and studied its psychometric properties. We found adequate internal consistency, construct validity and convergence of measures with related instruments, both in non-clinical (N = 398) and in treated substance-addicted (diacetylmorphine, cocaine, alcohol and cannabis; N = 140) samples. Addicted individuals did not differ from the non-clinical population in their functional impulsivity, but we found a great effect size (eta2p = 0.35) in the differences when exploring the dysfunctional type, with higher scores in addicts. Dysfunctional impulsivity was related to dysexecutive symptoms (r2 = 0.39), and personality traits such as Novelty Seeking (r2 = 0.57), but not with the Exploratory Excitability subdimension (r2 = 0.01), this latter being more closely related to functional impulsivity (r2 = 0.16). Data support the usefulness of this inventory to estimate types of impulsivity related to the prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Decision Making
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / diagnosis
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / epidemiology
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / psychology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Impulsive Behavior / epidemiology
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Young Adult