Individual Differences in Personality and Substance Abuse and the Impact of Functioning and Acculturation in a Mexican American and Mexican Population, Alfonso Mercado
This study investigated the association of substance abuse and dependence with the five-factor personality traits, academic outcomes, and relationship satisfaction, in Mexican American (N= 1,143) and Mexican samples (N= 323). A quantitative data analysis was performed using the anonymous data. Results supported the universal application of the five-factor model of personality, with high Neuroticism and Extraversion and lower Agreeableness and Conscientiousness associated with higher likelihood of substance use, with differences across cultural groups and drug types. In the Mexican American group, alcohol dependence and nicotine use was associated with lower Grade Point Average and relationship dissatisfaction. In addition, higher levels of acculturation did not predict drug use or alcohol dependence in the Mexican American group. However, less use of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine was associated with acculturation. The Mexican group had higher levels of alcohol dependence and nicotine use and Mexican Americans had more cocaine and marijuana use. In conclusion, this study points to the communality and differences across cultural groups on drug use and dependence, and further clarifies the reciprocal relations of health-risk behaviors with psychological traits, academic achievement, and relationship satisfaction.