When I stumbled across this article, it made me think of the College Drinking Survey Assignment we did for class. The February 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research says that young women who already show a tendency toward impulsive behavior when distressed are at particular risk of developing alcohol-related problems, such as alcohol dependency.
The study recruited 319 female freshman from a large southeastern U.S. university, of whom 235 were drinkers. All participants took the Short-form Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test, which has 13 questions about drinking behavior and alcohol-related disorder symptoms. The five impulsivity traits that were assessed from the beginning (and assessed again 3 months later) were: lack of deliberation, lack of persistence, sensation seeking,negative urgency, and positive urgency.
Results showed that negative urgency (or negative emotions) predicted increases in alcohol dependence symptoms in the participants first semester of college.
This study attempted to connect alcohol dependence issues with personality trait. While it may seem plausible, the study used a simple 13 question survey. In order to understand why some women are more susceptible to alcohol problems, we need to use focus groups and in-depth interviews. The had a large sample but only a small portion represented the non-drinking control group. The study lacks validity.