Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Keith Beard, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Penny Koontz

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Linz


This dissertation examined the relationship between personality traits and addiction to legal substances and behaviors. Speranza et al. (2012) found that people who were addicted to illegal substances had similar personality traits, such as impulsivity and sensation-seeking. In addition, substance addiction has also been found to have a relationship with negative affect (Davis, Cohen, Davids, & Rabindranath, 2015). This study applied these findings to addictions of legal substances and behaviors. Caffeine and Internet addiction were specifically analyzed due to their common excessive use in this modern world (Marsh, Snell, Allen, & Wakefield, 2001; Karim & Chaudhri, 2012). Participants were selected from students at Marshall University. They were administered the Personality Inventory for DSM 5 (PID-5)—Adults and a 25 item questionnaire regarding criteria for two addictions written by the author. Based on research by Fossati, Krueger, Markon, Borroni, and Maffei (2013), the personality domains of negative affectivity and disinhibition on the PID-5 mirror the specific traits of impulsivity and sensation-seeking. The hypotheses were that the personality traits identified by Speranza, (2012) would positively correlate with individuals who meet criteria for caffeine and Internet addictions.


Drug abuse -- Psychological aspects.

Dependency (Psychology)

Compulsive behavior.