Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Walter Buboltz


The purpose of the present study was to examine personality traits in college students that may predispose them to alcohol-related problems or the development of alcohol abuse or dependence. The personality traits of interest were temperaments and psychological reactance. The participant's personality temperaments were assessed through the utilization of the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ), and psychological reactance was measured with the Therapeutic Reactance Scale (TRS). The drinking patterns of the students were determined through the use of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and a three-item binge drinking questionnaire.

Results revealed that the personality temperament of Novelty-Seeking was clearly associated with an increase in alcohol consumption and the endorsement of binge drinking. Males were more likely than females to endorse binge drinking and to score higher on the AUDIT. Additionally, there was a positive relationship between two factors that contribute to overall psychological reactance and higher scores on the AUDIT. It was discovered that participants who avoid conflict with others and resist being controlled by authority figures, were more likely to abuse alcohol. One final interesting finding was that a participant's total psychological reactance score was not associated with any of the other variables utilized in the hypothesis testing.