Introduction. To analyze the relationship between alcoholism, impulsiveness, anxiety and depression. Further, we wish to investigate the relationship between these variables and both the period of alcohol abuse and the length of hospitalization. Methods. The investigation was carried out on a group of alcoholics in residential treatment (N=60) and on a control group (N=60); within the group of alcoholics in treatment, we attempted to investigate possible differences in performance between "pure alcoholics" (N=48) and polyabusers (N=12). A questionnaire assessing anxiety (BAI) and one assessing depression (BDI-II) were administered. Since many psychological studies agree that impulsiveness is of multidimensional nature, for its assessment a questionnaire (BIS-11) and two computerbased tests (TCIP and Time Paradigm) were used. Results. Alcoholics in treatment seem to be more impulsive than controls in two of the three test used; further, the period of alcohol abuse influences impulsiveness considered as a personality dimension. Significant differences between "pure alcoholics" and polyabusers were obtained only in two of the three tests used. Patients hospitalized for alcohol detoxification do not seem particularly anxious or depressed, and there seems to be no relationship between the duration of alcohol abuse or the length of hospitalization and The psychological distress. Conclusions. These results clearly show the existence of a relationship between alcoholism and impulsiveness considered as a dimension of personality; however, they do not explain whether it is personality that is a consequence or antecedent of the problematic use of substances. © PI-ME, Pavia 2010.
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