• Socio-demographic and Psychological Characteristics of Sub-types of Alcoholism: An Analysis of the Type A/Type B and Five-Factor Models

      Thiel, Mindy; Belcher, John R. (2010)
      The characteristics of individuals with alcoholism have been depicted as sets of socio-demographic variables, psychological variables, drinking and other drug use variables, personality variables, and a conceptual model, known as the Type A/Type B typology. The utility of a Type A/Type B approach has been criticized by some researchers; however, these critics still concede that alcoholism is a heterogeneous diagnostic category. Potentially, other approaches to the creation of types of alcoholism can respond to these criticisms and still reflect the heterogeneous nature of the population of persons who abuse alcohol. Throughout the past two decades, the Five-Factor Theory of Personality has emerged as a widely accepted theory of personality. Researchers have only begun to link these dimensions of personality with alcoholism. Rather than replacing the Type A/Type B approach to creating types of alcoholism, by using the Five-Factor Theory of Personality along with the Type A/Type B approach, researchers may be able to develop typologies of alcoholism that further validate these two frameworks. This study used a secondary data analysis to test the utility of the Type A/Type B conceptual typology on a population of 421 adult males and females who had abused alcohol and were under treatment at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The study then analyzed differences between Type A and Type B alcoholism on each of the dimensions of the Five-a Factor Theory of Personality to determine whether this combined approach resulted in a categorization of sub-types of alcoholism that was conceptually clear, and clinically meaningful for social work.