Risk Factors of Addiction

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  • Created by: rhallett
  • Created on: 24-01-16 11:28
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  • Risk Factors for Addiction
    • 1) Stress
      • Self medication model argues that people do addictive behaviours like smoking to reduce stress. Might be because addictive behaviours are reinforcing and increase dopamine levels in the mesolimic reward pathway which improved people's mood.
      • +Cardwell -  found many smokers say they smoke to reduce stress
        • -Cohen - however smokers report more stress than non-smokers; smoking doesn't reduce stress
      • +Higley - monkeys who were stressed because they were reared by their peers consumed more alcohol than those reared by their mothers; suggests stress encourages addictive behaviours
    • 2) Peers
      • If someone's peers do an addictive behaviour, this increases the person's own risk of doing them. Due to social learning, imitating behaviour like smoking because it has positive consequences; makes them look popular - vicarious reinforcement
      • +2005 NIDA report found that 90% of American smokers began as teenagers and most attributed it to seeing their friends smoke
      • +Mayeux - found teenager boys who smoke at 16 were more popular 2 years later; suggests smoking is reinforced by popularity; seen as 'cool'
      • +Gupta - found that children often gamble at friend's homes and school, supports the role of peers in influencing gambling
    • 3) Age
      • There is a lot of evidence to suggests that teenagers are more vulnerable to some addictive behaviours than other ages for a range of reasons:
        • -This age group is often influenced by a rebellious social norms which may make addictive behaviours attractive
        • -Peer pressure can be greater; so they do an addictive behaviour to be accepted by their peer group
        • -Frontal love may not be fully developed so they can't control impulses
        • -They have a natural dampening of the reward pathway
        • + 2005 NIDA
        • +Mayeux
        • +Marinelli - trained rats to obtain cocaine and found that adolescent rats took more cocaine overall and worked harder to get it
    • 4) Personality
      • People high in NEUROTISM have more negative moods so may smoke or gamble to improve their mood
        • +Khaled - found that smokers were higher in measures of depression
      • +Zuckerman - found that people high in SENSATION SEEKING may be more likely to do risky behaviours like gambling and smoking because they seek excitment


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