Vulnerability in Addiciton

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  • Vulnerability to addiction.
    • Culture
      • Certain societies have norms, values and morals, some of which addictions break.
      • Alcohol - it is illegal in some parts of the East but in the West, it is widely accepted and often encouraged.
      • Gambling is illegal in some parts of the East but in the West, it is widely encouraged, especially in Las Vegas.
      • Smoking a 'Sheesha' is widely accepted in some parts of the East. But in the West, it is widely accepted and often encouraged.
    • Self-Esteem
      • It is often stated that those with low self esteem are more vulnerable to addiction, especially those who are young.
      • Deverensky et al foubnd low esteem adolescents who had depression and had previously attempted suicide were more likely to become gambling addicts.
    • Faulty cognitive attributions.
      • Moore and Ohtsuka found that young male problem gamblers have unrealistic ways of thinking about their chances of winning.
      • In general people who are out-going and confident who have a belief they can do better than they can actually do, will often be more likely to be addicts.
    • Personality.
      • Hans Eysenck believed that there is such a thing as an addictive personality.
      • He said that we have 3 types of personality.
        • P (Psychoticism) - aggressive, sold, impulsive and egocentric behaviour.
        • N (Neuroticism) - moody, irritable and anxious behaviour.
        • E (Extraversion) - sociability lively and optimistic behaviour.
      • These three types have all been linked to addicition but it is clear that E have no evidence to suggest that it is linked to drugs.
      • Whereas it has been shown that P and N are linked tot he addiction of nicotine.
    • Age.
      • The influence of peers on smoking and drug abuse appears to wane in later adolescence and then the role of close friends and particularly romantic partners, becomes increasingly important as an influence on attitudes and behaviour, especially those that are health-related (Brown et al).
      • The social crowd (peers) might have a greater impact upon smoking and drug use for young people whilst a partner or best friend plays a greater role later on in life.
    • Family Influence.
      • Modelling of parents and siblings can have an effect as the individual will copy behaviour they consider to be normal. The initiation and relapse stages are more likely to happen here too.
      • Parental Permissive Attitudes may mean that if a parent allows a lot of freedom, a child is likely to become addicted and vice versa.
      • However, you can still have strict parents who have a slight or full addiction, but it may be more likely to rub off on the child.


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