Certain personality and motivational traits may present vulnerability towards disinhibitory psychopathology (e.g. antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse). Cluster analysis was used to separately group 306 women and 274 men on impulsivity, Constraint, Negative Emotionality, behavioural activation system (BAS), and behavioural inhibition system (BIS) scores. As expected, a ‘disinhibited’ group with low Constraint, high impulsivity, weak BIS, and strong BAS emerged that showed elevated drug use problems, and histrionic and antisocial personality disorder features across gender. A ‘high affectivity’ group with high Negative Emotionality and strong BIS also showed elevated drug use problems and personality disorder features. Results suggested that two different trait profiles are associated with disinhibitory psychopathology and both may present vulnerability toward the development of such disorders. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.