Common genetic influences on impulsivity facets are related to goal management, psychopathology, and personality

Daniel E. Gustavson, Carol E. Franz, William S. Kremen, Charles S Carver, Robin P. Corley, John K. Hewitt, Naomi P. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study, we characterized the genetic/environmental commonality and heterogeneity of impulsivity facets and tested the hypothesis that goal-management is central to their common variance. 764 young-adult twins completed the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale and measures of goal management, personality, and psychopathology. We found common genetic influences across all impulsivity facets except sensation seeking. These impulsivity genetic influences explained 40.0% of variance in goal-management ability. Other results supported three hypotheses concerning heterogeneity: that sensation seeking is independent of other facets, that urgency is more related to psychopathology than lack of premeditation, and that lack of perseverance is more similar to urgency than lack of premeditation. Thus, impulsivity facets show considerable heterogeneity in addition to common variation related to goal-management abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-175
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019



  • Cognitive control
  • Heritability
  • Impulsiveness
  • Self-control
  • SEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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