The Heterogeneous Roles of the UPPS-P Impulsivity Pathways across Features of Psychopathology Open Access

Berg, Joanna Margaret (2016)

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Impulsigenic constructs, including impulsivity, sensation-seeking, and disinhibition, are frequently studied in relation to symptoms of psychopathology. However, these studies rarely examine the structure of impulsigenic constructs themselves, which is a longstanding topic of considerable confusion. Here, I examined the five subscales of the UPPS-P in the context of mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, psychotic features, and personality disorders in a sample of 405 undergraduate students. My goals were twofold: first, to contribute to the literature on the relationships between these subscales and a range of psychopathology; and second, to use cluster analyses and profile analyses for the purpose of examining the structure of and relationships among the constructs assessed by the UPPS-P. Findings indicated that Negative and Positive Urgency were highly correlated with a wide range of features of psychopathology, and also demonstrated very similar "behavior" with respect to profile and cluster analyses, suggesting that these two subscales are closely related or possibly overlapping. Additionally, Lack of Premeditation and Lack of Perseverance had more distinct profiles than predicted, with the former correlating most strongly with externalizing behaviors, and the latter correlating most strongly with mood disorders. Finally, Sensation Seeking appeared to predict more adaptive functioning overall, and in profile and cluster analyses, this subscale was an entirely distinct construct compared to the other UPPS-P subscales.

Table of Contents

General Introduction 1

Review of Current Theory and Findings 10

The Present Study 14

Method 17

Results 23

Discussion 33

Implications of Results for the Structure of the UPPS-P 33

Implications of Results for Impulsigenic Contributions to Psychopathology 36

An RDoC Perspective on the UPPS-P Subscales 38

Limitations 41

Conclusions 42

References 43

Tables 56

Figures 79

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