Vulnerability Factors in Addiction

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Vulnerability factors in addiction- peers, personality, age and stress

Resource summary

Vulnerability Factors in Addiction
1 Peers
1.1 Research
1.1.1 Sussman and Ames- found that friend and peer use of drugs was the biggest predictor of future drug use in teenagers
1.1.2 Eiser- suggests that among adolescents, smokers tend to befriend smokers, and non smokers befriend other non smokers
1.2 Explained through the social learning theory-popularity is a positive reinforcement
1.3 Evaluation
1.3.1 Duncan- exposure to peers increases the likelihood that teens will start smoking
1.3.2 Mixed support for the social identity theory Michell- evidence for the influence of group stereotypes There is limited evidence for the extent of influence of stereotypes
1.3.3 It may be that people select friends with similar addictions (direction of causallity) Bullers- in adults, individual drinking also predicted group drinking
2 Personality
2.1 Three types of personality have been linked to addiction
2.1.1 Neurotiscism- negative and unstable emotions, high anxiety and a tendancy for low moods
2.1.2 Psychoticism- cold, aggressive, impatient and impulsive
2.1.3 Extraversion- under aroused and bored, seeking external stimulation to increase cortisol arousal
2.1.4 Research Gossan and Eysenck- correlations between neuroticism, psychoticism and addiction Blaszcynski- replicated Gossan and Eysenck, but separated males and females. Found link between psychoticism and extraversion in males, but only psychoticism in females
2.2 Tri- dimensional theory
2.2.1 3 traits that predispose individuals towards addiciton Novelty seeking Harm avoidance Reward dependance
2.3 Evaluation
2.3.1 Buckholtz- some people may have hypersensitive dopamine systems
2.3.2 Implications for treatment
2.3.3 Evidence with rats Belin- sensation seekers took high doses, impulsive rats took smaller doese but became addicted
2.3.4 Correlational
2.3.5 Studies into impulsivity in humans Weintraub- studied patients with parkinsons disease. Drug increased dopamine, and they were more likely to become addicted
3 Stress
3.1 Self medication
3.2 Stress smoking paradox- smokers think they smoke to relieve stress, when it is actually causing them to be more stressed
3.2.1 Haven
3.3 Research
3.3.1 Driessen- 30% of drug addicts and 15% of alcoholics also suffer from PTSD
3.3.2 Ogden and Fox- teenage girls use smoking as weight control, indirectly reducing stress
3.3.3 Childs- people in stressful situations have more cravings
3.4 Evaluation
3.4.1 Colinger- individual differences
3.4.2 Doesn't actually reduce stress Stress smoking paradoz
4 Age
4.1 Adolescents
4.1.1 Smoking can act as a gateway- to drugs or other addictions, e.g alcohol
4.1.2 Reseach Shram- nicotine had a greater activating effect on the neural structure in adolescents Fidlers- those who smoked before 11 were 2x more likely to be regular smokers by 14 Brown- influence of peers on drugs and smoke appears to wane in later adolescents- close peers and romantic relationships become more influencial
4.2 Older smokers
4.2.1 Helfer- 17% of women over 75 use painkillers or sleeping tablets every day, 46% of men over 75 drink daily
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