OBJECTIVES: Researchers have clearly implicated impulsivity as having a key role in substance use disorders, and comparisons of self-report measures suggest there are measurably different components of impulsive behavior. However comparatively little research has been devoted to understanding the multidimensional nature of this construct using laboratory measures of impulsivity that may be more sensitive to tracking changes across time. Many studies have measured impulsivity, but this construct has been measured using methodologically different types of laboratory impulsivity paradigms that are often used in isolation. As a result, it is important to determine whether some of the most frequently used types of behavioral measures of impulsivity account for unique variance. METHODS: Here, we used factor analytical techniques in two studies to evaluate the independence of three of the most commonly used behavioral impulsivity paradigms. First, a factor analysis was conducted using previously collected data (n = 204), and second, data was gathered specifically to replicate and extend the results of our original analysis (n = 198). RESULTS: Both studies revealed three distinct factors, confirming our hypothesis of at least three components of impulsive behavior that can be measured by these methodological approaches. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that researchers should carefully consider their selection of laboratory-behavioral impulsivity measures, and that the measure(s) selected should be related to the particular underlying processes relevant to substance use disorders and treatment success.
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Multidimensional assessment of impulsivity-related measures in relation to externalizing behaviors.Psychol Med. 2019 Jul;49(10):1678-1690. doi: 10.1017/S0033291718002295. Epub 2018 Sep 4. Psychol Med. 2019. PMID: 30178723
Laboratory paradigms of impulsivity and alcohol dependence: a review.Eur Addict Res. 2011;17(2):64-71. doi: 10.1159/000321345. Epub 2010 Dec 11. Eur Addict Res. 2011. PMID: 21150205 Review.
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Impulsivities and addictions: a multidimensional integrative framework informing assessment and interventions for substance use disorders.Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2019 Feb 18;374(1766):20180137. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0137. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2019. PMID: 30966920 Free PMC article. Review.
Serial Progression from Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder to Alcohol Use Disorder: Serial Multiple Mediated Effects of Externalizing Disorders and Depression.Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2018 Aug 31;16(3):267-275. doi: 10.9758/cpn.2018.16.3.267. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2018. PMID: 30121976 Free PMC article.
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