Alcohol misuse in psychiatric patients and nonclinical individuals: The role of emotion dysregulation and impulsivity

C. Garofalo, Patrizia Velotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Notwithstanding the relevance of both emotion dysregulation and impulsivity to alcohol misuse, there is a dearth of study addressing their reciprocal interaction. The first aim of this study was to confirm the role played by difficulties in emotion regulation and trait impulsivity in explaining maladaptive alcohol use, comparing a mixed psychiatric sample (N = 130; 64.4% males; mean age = 43.30 years, SD = 11.83) with community-dwelling individuals (N = 307; 54.3% males; mean age = 36.01 years, SD = 11.88). Results corroborate this hypothesis, with emotion dysregulation and impulsiveness showing their significant association with alcohol misuse, and with levels of all these three components being significantly higher in the clinical sample. This study also extended extant research by explicating the hypothesised indirect effect of emotion dysregulation on alcohol misuse, through the effect of trait impulsivity. Results are also consistent with this latter hypothesis, with trait impulsivity accounting for the association between emotion dysregulation and alcohol misuse, albeit partially. As a whole, findings of this study highlight the potential utility of prevention and intervention efforts targeting emotion dysregulation and impulsivity in reducing alcohol misuse.
Keywords:Alcohol misuse, emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, psychopathology, psychotic disorders
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-300
JournalAddiction Research & Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Alcohol misuse
  • emotion dysregulation
  • impulsivity
  • psychopathology
  • psychotic disorders


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