Type D personality is associated with increased desire for alcohol in response to acute stress

Lynn Williams, Gillian Bruce, Cindy Knapton

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Type D personality (the combination of negative affectivity and social inhibition) is associated with high levels of alcohol consumption. We examined if Type D was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, and if Type D was associated with desire for alcohol in response to a social stressor. In an experimental study, participants (n=138) completed measures of Type D, stress, and alcohol use. They also took part in a stress-inducing public speaking task and provided measures of desire for alcohol at baseline, stressor, and recovery. Type D was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, stress and desire for alcohol at stressor and recovery. Mixed measures ANOVA demonstrated that there was a significant group effect of Type D (F (1, 136) =6.86, p<.05), and a significant time x Type D interaction (F (1.50, 204.49) =3.44, p<.05) on desire for alcohol. Type D individuals exhibited significantly higher levels of desire for alcohol during the stressor and recovery phases, compared to non-Type D individuals suggesting that Type D individuals may be motivated to consume alcohol in order to cope with stressful situations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStress and Health
Early online date30 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2018


  • alcohol abuse
  • alcohol consumption
  • Type D personality
  • stress
  • health

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