AIM: To examine the mediation by drinking motives of the association between personality traits (negative thinking, anxiety sensitivity, impulsivity, and sensation seeking) and alcohol frequency, binge drinking, and alcohol-related problems using a sample of students (n=3053) aged between 13 and 15, who reported lifetime use of alcohol. METHOD: Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationship between personality traits and alcohol-related outcomes. The Model Indirect approach was used to examine the hypothesized mediation by drinking motives of the association between personality traits and alcohol-related outcomes. RESULTS: In this study among young adolescents, coping motives, social motives and enhancement motives played a prominent mediating role between personality and the alcohol outcomes. Multi-group analyses revealed that the role of drinking motives in the relation between personality and alcohol outcomes were largely similar between the sexes, though there were some differences found for binge drinking. More specifically, for young males, enhancement motives seems to play a more prominent mediation role between personality and binge drinking, while for young females, coping motives play a more mediating role between personality and binge drinking. Few mediation associations were found for conformity motives, and no relationships were found between anxiety sensitivity and drinking motives. DISCUSSION: Already in early adolescence, personality traits are found to be associated with drinking motives, which in turn are related to alcohol use. This study provides indications that it is important to intervene in early adolescence with interventions focusing on personality traits in combination with drinking motives.