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Can Personality Traits Predict Substance Use Preference?: A Discriminant Functions Analysis of Drug Use in the LGBTQ Population.

Purpose: Previous research indicates that certain personality traits (impulsivity, neuroticism, sensation seeking, etc.) are strongly linked to heavy alcohol use and higher levels of stimulant use (Brunelle et al, 2004). We hypothesize that a difference in personality traits will result in differences of reported stimulant use, which excites the central nervous system and results in higher physiological arousal, and depressant use, which inhibits function of the central nervous system and results in a calming and sedating effect. Although a stronger presence of certain personality traits (neuroticism, extroversion) has been linked with use of different substances (depressants, stimulants, etc.) (Feldman et al, 2007), no known studies have examined personality traits as discriminating factors of substance choice within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer populations.

Methods: Using a subset of data from a larger study of LGBTQ individuals (n=730), we identified 33 subjects who reported previous 30-day use of stimulant (cocaine, amphetamines, ADHD medication, or MDMA; n = 15) or depressant (opiates, sedatives, sleeping medication, or painkillers; n =17) drugs. Data were analyzed using discriminant-functions analysis. Covariates included age, gender, ethnicity, and sexual identity.

Conclusions: Although the overall model was not statistically significant, patterns began to emerge regarding specific personality traits. The data suggested that people reporting higher levels of neuroticism reported higher than average primary depressant use. Although the overall model was not statistically significant, this may be a result of insufficient power. The implications for this research could affect availability of treatment options for specific personality types as well as increase treatment availability for sexual minority populations. Future studies should address this possible limitation in order to further investigate this personality trait-drug preference phenomenon.

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Apr 11th, 4:00 PM Apr 11th, 4:20 PM

Can Personality Traits Predict Drug Use Preference?: A Discriminant Functions Analysis of Substance Use in the LGBTQ Population

Can Personality Traits Predict Substance Use Preference?: A Discriminant Functions Analysis of Drug Use in the LGBTQ Population.

Purpose: Previous research indicates that certain personality traits (impulsivity, neuroticism, sensation seeking, etc.) are strongly linked to heavy alcohol use and higher levels of stimulant use (Brunelle et al, 2004). We hypothesize that a difference in personality traits will result in differences of reported stimulant use, which excites the central nervous system and results in higher physiological arousal, and depressant use, which inhibits function of the central nervous system and results in a calming and sedating effect. Although a stronger presence of certain personality traits (neuroticism, extroversion) has been linked with use of different substances (depressants, stimulants, etc.) (Feldman et al, 2007), no known studies have examined personality traits as discriminating factors of substance choice within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer populations.

Methods: Using a subset of data from a larger study of LGBTQ individuals (n=730), we identified 33 subjects who reported previous 30-day use of stimulant (cocaine, amphetamines, ADHD medication, or MDMA; n = 15) or depressant (opiates, sedatives, sleeping medication, or painkillers; n =17) drugs. Data were analyzed using discriminant-functions analysis. Covariates included age, gender, ethnicity, and sexual identity.

Conclusions: Although the overall model was not statistically significant, patterns began to emerge regarding specific personality traits. The data suggested that people reporting higher levels of neuroticism reported higher than average primary depressant use. Although the overall model was not statistically significant, this may be a result of insufficient power. The implications for this research could affect availability of treatment options for specific personality types as well as increase treatment availability for sexual minority populations. Future studies should address this possible limitation in order to further investigate this personality trait-drug preference phenomenon.