Personality processes related to the development and resolution of alcohol use disorders

Kenneth J. Sher, Andrew Littlefield, Matthew Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses relations between personality and alcohol use disorder (AUD). After reviewing basic terms and concepts in personality research, two major areas of contemporary research are discussed. The first area concerns how personality traits are implicated in etiologic pathways to AUD. This highlights the centrality of personality to conceptualizing AUD and related psychopathology. The second area is research emphasizing movement beyond a static view of personality, recognizing that personality traits are dynamic and change as a function of human development and life transitions. In particular, whereas past research on "maturing out" of AUD emphasized salutary effects of young adult role transitions, recent evidence reveals normative patterns of developmental personality maturation and supports these as additional influences on maturing out. The chapter discusses ways that contextual role effects and personality maturation can perhaps be integrated into a broader model of maturing out of AUD. Implications for future investigation are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlcohol Use Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationA Developmental Science Approach to Etiology
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780190676025
ISBN (Print)9780190676001
StatePublished - Jan 18 2018


  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Etiology
  • Maturing out
  • Personality
  • Personality development


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