The Moderating Effects of Five Factor Model Personality Traits on the Physical Activity and Alcohol Use Relationship
Boland, Jennifer Katherine
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Several studies have shown a robust positive association between levels of physical activity (PA) and alcohol intake on both a cross-sectional between-persons level (e.g., Leasure & Neighbors, 2014; Moore & Werch, 2008), and on a within-person longitudinal daily level (Conroy et al., 2014). The relationship between alcohol consumption and PA has been of particular interest to researchers as a pathway to developing treatment and prevention strategies for problematic alcohol consumption behaviors. However, treatments focusing on increasing PA as a replacement for drinking behaviors have had mixed results, suggesting that interventions are not addressing individual differences in the way that their participants engage in both PA and alcohol related behaviors. The current study investigated whether differences in Five-Factor Model (FFM) personality trait profiles moderate the PA-alcohol relationship. Results showed that while light PA, extraversion, and neuroticism were each predictive of alcohol consumption alone, there were no interaction effects among PA and personality variables as predictors of alcohol use. These results suggest that although light PA is positively related to alcohol use, personality traits do not influence the strength of this relationship, meaning that the effects of these predictors do not compound. Therefore, individuals high in traits of extraversion or neuroticism are not specifically at risk for higher levels of alcohol consumption than their less extraverted or neurotic peers if they also participate in light PA. However, this finding has less optimistic implications for the implementation of PA-based alcohol treatment interventions for these individuals.