The value of impulsivity to define subgroups of addicted individuals differing in personality dysfunction, craving, psychosocial adjustment, and wellbeing: A latent class analysis

Natalia Albein-Urios, Angelina Paletti, Oscar M Lozano Rojas, Jose Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, Antonio Javier Verdejo-Garcia

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15 Citations (Scopus)


High impulsivity is common to substance and gambling addictions. Despite these commonalities, there is still substantial heterogeneity on impulsivity levels within these diagnostic groups, and variations in impulsive levels predict higher severity of symptoms and poorer outcomes. We addressed the question of whether impulsivity scores can yield empirically driven subgroups of addicted individuals that will exhibit different clinical presentations and outcomes. We applied latent class analysis (LCA) to trait (UPPS-P impulsive behavior scale) and cognitive impulsivity (Stroop and d2 tests) scores in three predominantly male addiction diagnostic groups: Cocaine with Personality Disorders, Cocaine Non-comorbid, and Gambling and analyzed the usefulness of the resulting subgroups to differentiate personality beliefs and relevant outcomes: Craving, psychosocial adjustment, and quality of life. In accordance with impulsivity scores, the three addiction diagnostic groups are best represented as two separate classes: Class 1 characterized by greater trait impulsivity and poorer cognitive impulsivity performance and Class 2 characterized by lower trait impulsivity and better cognitive impulsivity performance. The two empirically derived classes showed significant differences on personality features and outcome variables (Class 1 exhibited greater personality dysfunction and worse clinical outcomes), whereas conventional diagnostic groups showed non-significant differences on most of these measures. Trait and cognitive impulsivity scores differentiate subgroups of addicted individuals with more versus less severe personality features and clinical outcomes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • addiction
  • personality and personality disorders
  • psychosocial functioning
  • quality of life
  • statistical methods

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