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Literature has long suggested a correlation between family history and alcohol dependence; heredity plays a role in risk for alcohol dependence. To investigate the influence of the personality trait neuroticism as a moderating factor of the relationship between family history of alcohol dependence, and an individual’s alcohol consumption, analyses were conducted in the Fall 2011 Spit for Science cohort. Survey questions examined the binary variable of whether participants reported a family history of drinking problems, as well as the continuous variable measuring the number of alcoholic drinks participants had consumed in the past 30 days. There were a total of 779 responses that included answers to both questions about family history as well as drinking scores in the data and on these, a linear regression and ANOVA was performed. Results show that reports of family history and high levels of neuroticism are both correlated with increased frequency of alcohol use. Analyses continue to examine the moderating effect of neuroticism on the relationship between family history of alcohol use and an individual’s alcohol consumption. These results add more basic information to the literature on alcohol use in college students.

Publication Date


Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Arden Moscati

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

James Clifford

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Amy Adkins

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Danielle Dick


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

Neuroticism as a Moderator of the Relationship Between Family History of Drinking Problems and College Alcohol Use