Temperament and novelty seeking in adolescent substance use: convergence of dimensions of temperament with constructs from Cloninger's theory

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Feb;74(2):387-406. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.74.2.387.


This study investigated the convergence of temperament dimensions with constructs from C. R. Cloninger's (1987a) theory using data from a sample of 949 adolescents (M age = 13.6 years). Substantial convergence was found, and both types of constructs were related in predicted ways to self-regulation variables and adolescent substance use. Structural modeling procedures tested a mediational model for substance use; results showed mediation through self-control, academic competence, negative life events, and deviant peer affiliations. Interactions indicated that substance use could be predicted from a balance of systems for good control and poor control. Poor self-control was present for dimensions implicated in both externalizing and internalizing disorders. Results are discussed with reference to self-regulation models of substance use and the comorbidity of substance abuse and mental disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Psychological Theory
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Social Conformity
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Temperament*