Eamonn Arble

Antisocial Personality Traits, Substance Use, and Somatization: A Brief Consideration of Their Interrelation

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

The relationship between antisocial personality traits and the expression of somatic symptoms has been the subject of several theoretical and empirical investigations. The present study sought to advance the understanding of the relationship between these variables by testing two moderation models. It was hypothesized that the relationship between antisocial traits and somatization would be moderated by alcohol use, such that the presence of alcohol dependence would strengthen the relationship between antisocial traits and somatization. It was also hypothesized that gender would play a moderating role in the relationship between ASPD and somatization, such that the relationship would be stronger among women than among men. These models were tested in a sample of 787 criminal offenders. Gender did not emerge as a significant moderator in the relationship between antisocial traits and somatization. Although substance use did significantly moderate the relationship between antisocial traits and somatization, the direction of the effect ran counter to expectations: among participants reporting a history of alcohol dependency, the relationship between antisocial features and somatization was diminished. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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