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Stable self-serving personality traits in recreational and dependent cocaine users


Quednow, Boris B; Hulka, Lea M; Preller, Katrin H; Baumgartner, Markus R; Eisenegger, Christoph; Vonmoos, Matthias (2017). Stable self-serving personality traits in recreational and dependent cocaine users. PLoS ONE, 12(3):e0172853.

Abstract

Chronic cocaine use has been associated with impairments in social cognition, self-serving and antisocial behavior, and socially relevant personality disorders (PD). Despite the apparent relationship between Machiavellianism and stimulant use, no study has explicitly examined this personality concept in cocaine users so far. In the frame of the longitudinal Zurich Cocaine Cognition Study, the Machiavellianism Questionnaire (MACH-IV) was assessed in 68 recreational and 30 dependent cocaine users as well as in 68 psychostimulant-naïve controls at baseline. Additionally, three closely related personality dimensions from the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI)-cooperativeness, (social) reward dependence, and self-directedness-and the screening questionnaire of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II) were acquired. At the one-year follow-up, 57 cocaine users and 48 controls were reassessed with the MACH-IV. Finally, MACH-IV scores were correlated with measures of social cognition and interaction (cognitive/emotional empathy, Theory-of-Mind, prosocial behavior) and with SCID-II PD scores assessed at baseline. Both recreational and dependent cocaine users showed significantly higher Machiavellianism than controls, while dependent cocaine users additionally displayed significantly lower levels of TCI cooperativeness and self-directedness. During the one-year interval, MACH-IV scores showed high test-retest reliability and also the significant gap between cocaine users and controls remained. Moreover, in cocaine users, higher Machiavellianism correlated significantly with lower levels of cooperativeness and self-directedness, with less prosocial behavior, and with higher cluster B PD scores. However, Machiavellianism was not correlated with measures of cocaine use severity (r<-.15). Both recreational and dependent cocaine users display pronounced and stable Machiavellian personality traits. The lack of correlations with severity of cocaine use and its temporal stability indicates that a Machiavellian personality trait might represent a predisposition for cocaine use that potentially serves as a predictor for stimulant addiction.

Abstract

Chronic cocaine use has been associated with impairments in social cognition, self-serving and antisocial behavior, and socially relevant personality disorders (PD). Despite the apparent relationship between Machiavellianism and stimulant use, no study has explicitly examined this personality concept in cocaine users so far. In the frame of the longitudinal Zurich Cocaine Cognition Study, the Machiavellianism Questionnaire (MACH-IV) was assessed in 68 recreational and 30 dependent cocaine users as well as in 68 psychostimulant-naïve controls at baseline. Additionally, three closely related personality dimensions from the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI)-cooperativeness, (social) reward dependence, and self-directedness-and the screening questionnaire of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II) were acquired. At the one-year follow-up, 57 cocaine users and 48 controls were reassessed with the MACH-IV. Finally, MACH-IV scores were correlated with measures of social cognition and interaction (cognitive/emotional empathy, Theory-of-Mind, prosocial behavior) and with SCID-II PD scores assessed at baseline. Both recreational and dependent cocaine users showed significantly higher Machiavellianism than controls, while dependent cocaine users additionally displayed significantly lower levels of TCI cooperativeness and self-directedness. During the one-year interval, MACH-IV scores showed high test-retest reliability and also the significant gap between cocaine users and controls remained. Moreover, in cocaine users, higher Machiavellianism correlated significantly with lower levels of cooperativeness and self-directedness, with less prosocial behavior, and with higher cluster B PD scores. However, Machiavellianism was not correlated with measures of cocaine use severity (r<-.15). Both recreational and dependent cocaine users display pronounced and stable Machiavellian personality traits. The lack of correlations with severity of cocaine use and its temporal stability indicates that a Machiavellian personality trait might represent a predisposition for cocaine use that potentially serves as a predictor for stimulant addiction.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:07 Aug 2017 10:33
Last Modified:22 Sep 2017 13:28
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172853
PubMed ID:28253291

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