Interrelationships among individual differences in alcohol demand, impulsivity, and alcohol misuse.
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An Alcohol Purchase Task (APT) is a novel behavioral economic measure for characterizing the incentive value of alcohol to an individual (i.e., alcohol demand). Individual differences in alcohol demand have been associated with a number of alcohol-related outcomes and the current investigation sought to extend these previous findings in a number of ways. The goals of the study were: (a) to examine the relationship between alcohol demand and alcohol misuse in a large sample of community adults; (b) to examine sex differences in alcohol demand; and, (c) to examine the relationship between alcohol demand and impulsive personality traits, both in general and as moderating variables. Participants (N = 720; 39% female) were adult smokers who reported drinking in the last year and were recruited from the community at large. All four behavioral economic indices of demand from the APT were significantly associated with alcohol misuse, with Omax and intensity uniquely associated in combined analyses. Males exhibited significantly higher demand, but these differences were largely eliminated after adjusting for drinks per week and other covariates. Trait levels of urgency, sensation-seeking and lack of premeditation were significantly associated with intensity and urgency was associated with Omax, but no moderating relationships were present. The significant relationships between aspects of impulsivity and the demand indices may signify a common process underlying disinhibition and demand for alcohol. These findings further support the relationship between indices of alcohol demand and alcohol misuse and a link between demand and impulsivity. Methodological considerations and future directions are discussed.
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