Vulnerability to Addiction

- Vulnerability to Addiction (PSYA4)

  • Created by: Charlie
  • Created on: 18-03-13 16:28
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  • Vulnerability to addiction
    • Culture - addictive behaviors take place in societies which have certain norms, values and morals. For example it is illegal to drink in Saudi Arabia, but in France it is consider odd not to drink and it is a huge part of life. If you live in a culture that is more tolerant of things like drinking and gambling, you are more likely to become addicted then in one that frowns upon it.
    • Self-esteem - Deverensky et al found that adolescents with low self esteem, depression and who had previously attempted suicide were more at risk of becoming gambling addicts.
    • Personality - Hans Eysenck believed that there is such a thing as an addictive personality. He proposed that some people are more at risk then others to develop an addiction due to their personality type
      • There are three personality dimensions that Eysenck proposed as being passed on geneticly that increase risks. P -psychotisism : aggressive,impulsive egocentric. N - neuroticism - moody, irritable and anxious. E - extroversion - sociability,lively and optimistic.
        • Research support - E has little evidence to support its role in drug addiction. However, Francis (1996) found a link between high scores on N and P measures and nicotine addiction. Therefore, being impulsive, aggressive, irritable and anxious make you more likely to become addicted to nicotine.
    • Gender differences - Research has found that women are more likley to become addicted to smoking, this is mainly due to the use of smoking as weight control. In addition Men have been shown to be more prone to gambling addictions, males usually start gambling young (late teens), they enjoy skill based games like blackjack and the gains from winning.
    • Social contexts - SLT (Social Learning) if peers and family engage in addictive behaviours you may copy it and become addicted your self
    • Family & background - Parents can be a strong factor influencing your chances of addiction, if you have strong anti-smokers as parents you are less likely to engage in that behavior. Also older brothers have a strong influence on younger brothers, they are usually seen as role models and if they for example smoke the younger sibling will likely copy the behavior.
      • Additionally social-cultural background is important factor influencing vulnerability to addiction. Research as shown that low income families in a high crime area, who perform badly at school are particularly at risk to develop a addiction.


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