The pattern of alcohol consumption in the form of binge drinking (BD) or heavy episodic drinking has increased notably worldwide in recent years, especially among adolescent and young people, being currently recognized as a global health problem. Although only a minority of binge drinkers will develop a substance use disorder, BD may have negative personal and social consequences in the short and medium term. The objective of this article is to review the findings on personality traits related to binge drinkers and to emphasize the aspects that should be examined in order to make progress in this area. The main characteristics of personality related to the practice of BD, regardless of the theoretical model used, are high Impulsivity and high Sensation seeking, as well as Anxiety sensitivity, Neuroticism (Hopelessness), Extraversion and low Conscientiousness. The data obtained may have theoretical implications to elucidate the endophenotype of BD, but they are especially useful for their preventive applications. Integration into prevention programs of emotional self-control skills, decision-making, social skills, and strategies to manage negative emotions will minimize the risk factors or consequences of BD associated with personality and will improve their effectiveness. In the future, it is necessary to harmonize a common measurement instrument for the assessment of personality, develop longitudinal studies with large samples that also integrate biological and neurocognitive measurements, and determine the reciprocal relationship between personality and BD together with its modulating variables, as well as the possible cultural differences
02 August 2016 In Social and Cultural Aspects

Adolescence is a time that can set the course of alcohol abuse later in life. Sensitivity to reward on multiple levels is a major factor in this development. We examined 736 adolescents from the IMAGEN longitudinal study for alcohol drinking during early (mean age=14.37) and again later (mean age=16.45) adolescence. Conducting structural equation modeling we evaluated the contribution of reward-related personality traits, behavior, brain responses and candidate genes. Personality seems to be most important in explaining alcohol drinking in early adolescence. However, genetic variations in ANKK1 (rs1800497) and HOMER1 (rs7713917) play an equal role in predicting alcohol drinking two years later and are most important in predicting the increase in alcohol consumption. We hypothesize that the initiation of alcohol use may be driven more strongly by personality while the transition to increased alcohol use is more genetically influenced.

27 January 2016 In Social and Cultural Aspects

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Internet alcohol marketing is not well studied despite its prevalence and potential accessibility and attractiveness to youth. The objective was to examine longitudinal associations between self-reported engagement with Internet alcohol marketing and alcohol use transitions in youth.

METHODS: A US sample of 2012 youths aged 15 to 20 was surveyed in 2011. An Internet alcohol marketing receptivity score was developed, based on number of positive responses to seeing alcohol advertising on the Internet, visiting alcohol brand Web sites, being an online alcohol brand fan, and cued recall of alcohol brand home page images. We assessed the association between baseline marketing receptivity and both ever drinking and binge drinking (>/=6 drinks per occasion) at 1-year follow-up with multiple logistic regression, controlling for baseline drinking status, Internet use, sociodemographics, personality characteristics, and peer or parent drinking.

RESULTS: At baseline, ever-drinking and binge-drinking prevalence was 55% and 27%, respectively. Many (59%) reported seeing Internet alcohol advertising, but few reported going to an alcohol Web site (6%) or being an online fan (3%). Higher Internet use, sensation seeking, having family or peers who drank, and past alcohol use were associated with Internet alcohol marketing receptivity, and a score of 1 or 2 was independently associated with greater adjusted odds of initiating binge drinking (odds ratio 1.77; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-2.78 and odds ratio 2.15; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-4.37 respectively) but not with initiation of ever drinking.

CONCLUSIONS: Although high levels of engagement with Internet alcohol marketing were uncommon, most underage youths reported seeing it, and we found a prospective association between receptivity to this type of alcohol marketing and future problem drinking, making additional research and ongoing surveillance important.

16 October 2015 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The association between Parkinson's disease and lifestyle exposures such as smoking, coffee and alcohol consumption have been the focus of research for several decades, with varying and often conflicting results.

OBJECTIVE: This paper reviews the key features of observational studies investigating the relationship between alcohol drinking and PD risk, to determine potential sources of variability between the results.

METHODS: Relevant literature from 2000-2014 was systematically retrieved using three databases. Primary research articles were included if they reported a measure of association between quantity and frequency of alcohol intake and PD risk, and adjusted at least for the potential confounding factors of smoking and age.

RESULTS: Sixteen articles were identified. The seven case-control studies were more likely to report a weak protective association by level of alcohol consumption compared to the studies with prospective designs. Two studies reported the relationship between heavy (harmful to health) drinking and PD. There was weak evidence that associations varied by type of alcoholic beverage. Smoking may modify the association between alcohol intake and PD risk, however, the evidence does not support the theory that a confounder (such as an addiction-avoiding personality trait) produced the inverse associations between smoking, coffee and alcohol intake and PD risk. Methodological weaknesses of the studies, including selection and recall bias, residual confounding and lack of statistical power may in part account for their differences.

CONCLUSION: The weak association between alcohol drinking and PD risk was found in studies at greater risk of selection and recall bias.

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