Dimensional Personality Traits Broadly and Selectively Associated with Normative Externalizing Behavior
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment | Uitgave 3/2018Log in om toegang te krijgen
This study aimed to distinguish personality traits that are widely associated with several types of externalizing behaviors from personality traits that are more selectively associated with one or only a few specific types of externalizing behavior. A wide range of externalizing behaviors (e.g. alcohol and drug use, risky driving, aggressive acts, sexual promiscuity and relationship infidelity, academic misconduct) typical among an undergraduate population (N = 257) were examined along with a range of personality traits measured using the Section III personality model for the DSM-5. We found that externalizing behavior was best associated with the domain level trait Antagonism and, to a lesser degree, Disinhibition. Antagonism’s association with problematic behavior was primarily accounted for by the facet trait Deceitfulness. Deceitfulness was found to be associated with a wide range of behaviors including relationship infidelity, theft, aggressive acts, and drug and alcohol use. Associations between Disinhibition and problem behavior, especially risky driving and poor work or school performance, were best accounted for by the Irresponsibility facet, as opposed to the Impulsivity or Distractibility facet traits. This comprehensive multivariate approach is important for a more complete understanding of the complex relationship that exists between personality traits and externalizing behavior. A better understanding of factors precipitating externalizing behavior could ultimately lead to an increased ability to target interventions to individuals most susceptible to engage in problematic behavior.