Faculty Publications

Are The “Big 5” Personality Traits Associated With Substance Use Self-Stigma?

Document Type



personality traits, self-stigma, substance use

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Drug Issues


Self-stigma among individuals with substance use problems is notably high, but not all individuals with substance use problems experience elevated self-stigma. Unfortunately, there is limited research to account for such variation. A few studies have examined the association between personality traits from the five-factor model (FFM; “Big 5”) and self-stigma among those with mental illness, but no research exists among individuals with substance use disorders. Based on data from 125 individuals residing in a substance use treatment unit, the FFM personality traits collectively account for 33% to 56% of the variance across four components of self-stigma. More specifically, individuals with high neuroticism, low conscientiousness, and/or low extraversion experience greater self-stigma. The identification of at-risk individuals, via personality traits, could allow for development of targeted interventions to address self-stigma, and ultimately improve treatment retention and outcomes.


Department of Psychology

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version