Acute alcohol effects on impulsivity: associations with drinking and driving behavior
Article first published online: 10 AUG 2012
© 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 107, Issue 12, pages 2109–2114, December 2012
How to Cite
McCarthy, D. M., Niculete, M. E., Treloar, H. R., Morris, D. H. and Bartholow, B. D. (2012), Acute alcohol effects on impulsivity: associations with drinking and driving behavior. Addiction, 107: 2109–2114. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03974.x
- Issue published online: 20 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 10 AUG 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 12 JUN 2012 06:34AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 30 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 15 AUG 2011
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grants. Grant Numbers: R01 AA 019546, T32 AA 013526
- delay discounting;
- drinking and driving;
Although drink drivers exhibit higher levels of trait impulsivity, no studies have tested the hypothesis that drink drivers experience increased impulsivity while intoxicated. We tested this hypothesis for two impulsivity constructs: delay discounting and behavioral inhibition.
A within-subjects study comparing performance of drink drivers and non-drink drivers on behavioral measures of impulsivity in alcohol and no-beverage sessions.
A laboratory setting at the University of Missouri.
Twenty-nine young adults who were at least moderate drinkers were recruited from the local community and the University of Missouri.
Impulsivity was assessed using the Two Choice Impulsivity Paradigm (TCIP) and the Stop-Signal Task. Participants also completed self-report measures of binge drinking and trait impulsivity.
In the no-beverage session, TCIP impulsive choices did not differ between drinking and driving groups (P = 0.93). In the alcohol session, drink drivers made more TCIP impulsive choices on both the ascending (P < 0.01) and descending limb (P < 0.01) of the blood alcohol concentration curve than their peers who did not drink and drive. Drinking and driving groups did not differ on the Stop-Signal Task. Supplementary analyses indicated that effects for the TCIP were not explained by individual differences in trait impulsivity.
Individuals who report having three or more drinks before driving show greater impulsivity when under the influence of alcohol than those who do not report heavy drinking before driving.