vulnerability factors to addictions

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  • vulnerability to addictions
    • Self esteem
      • people with low self esteem can be more vulnerable to addictive behaviour, especially in the case of adolescent gmblers
        • Deverensky et al- in adolescent gamblers, low self esteem, depression, and heightened risk of suicide make them more susceptible to additions
    • Attributions
      • cognitive biases can play a part in addictive behavior
        • Moore et al- young male problem gamblers often have unrealistic expectations about the outcome of the gambling and their chances of winning
          • however this is evident in everyone who gambles so doesnt explain why some people gamble to excess
      • people with addictive behavior often have an external locus of control and poor sense of self sufficiancy
    • Personality
      • some psychologists propose and 'addictive personality'
        • Hans Eysenck proposed a psychological resource model- the individual develops an addictive habit because it fulfills a certain purpose related to the personality type of the individual- he proposed 3 main personality dimensions
          • P-psychoticism- characteristics include impulsivity and coldness N- neuroticism- characteristics; moodiness and anxiety E- extraversion- liveliness and optimism
            • Francis- found supporting evidence for a link between drug and alcohol dependence and and personality types N & P-
              • although this is correlational research and difficult to make statements about such a casual relationship
      • Rounsaville et al- there is a strong link between alcoholism and antisocial personality types (sociopaths)
        • Slutsky- there is also a link between sociopathy and ADHD
          • however this is also correlational and although there is evidence for a link between certain mental disorders and substance abuse, these could be the effect of the drugs not the other way around (chicken or the egg)
    • Gender
      • there are some gender differences in addictive behaviors but these vary depending on the substance
        • there is an increase in female smoking addiction in the UK & US whereas male smoking has remained stable
          • it is sugggested that this is linked to weight as smokers tend to weigh 7lbs less then non-smokers and gain 6lbs when they quit
            • Ogden and Fox- female dieters use cigarette smoking as a weight maintenence strategy
        • whereas boys are more regular gamblers then girls
          • Jacobs has summarised the main differences; young males spend more money on gambling, and start gambling earlier, they enjoy more skill based games and enjoy a greater variation of games
    • The social context of addiction
      • drinking alcohol and smoking is seen as socially acceptable- in western culture alcohol can be seen s a transition from childhood to adulthood
        • Sutherland and Wilner- 1/3 of british 13-14 year olds report being drunk at least once- these may be socially desirable answers but it shows the social status carried by alcohol
      • people with antisocial behavior orders are more likely to develop substance abuse problems
        • Cincchetti et al- adolescents with ADHD are more likely to develop substance use problems
          • they also found that children with anxiety or depression problems begin substance use at an earlier age and are more likely to develop a problem with this use
    • Family infulence
      • children often model their parents and siblings behavior-social learning theory
        • parents drug use has been linked to the use and frequency of drug and alcohol use in adolescents- also older brothers drug use and attitudes towards drugs has been linked to younger brothers drug use
        • parents who are more permissive towards drugs have children who are more likely to start taking them
          • the risk of substance missuse is higher in those with family discord or inconsistant parenting
      • Fisher- youth problem gamblers are more likely to have a mother or father with gambling problems
      • sociocultural background can also be a predictor of later substance abuse
        • Hall et al- people from low socioeconomic and high crime rate backgrounds are more likely to develop substance abuse
          • people who have completed fewer years of education or performed badly at school are more vulnerable
            • Fisher et al- adolescent gamblers showed a wide range of school related problems; they are more likely to lie, truant and steal to finance their gambling
              • Vitaro et al- found a link between alcohol abuse and problem gambling- particularly in males


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