Risk Factors in the Development of Addiction

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  • Stress
  • Everday Stress
  • drink, smoke etc to cope with daily hassles - can contribute to intiation of addiction
  • Traumatic Stress
  • Exposure to severe stress increases the vulnerability to addiction more
  • Peers
  • Social Learning Theory
  • Imitating the behaviour of those who they have social contact with - determines persistance
  • Social Identity Theory
  • Group members adopt norms and behaviours that are central ot the social identity of the group that they belong in
  • Age
  • the social crowd might have a greater impact on smoking and drug use for young adolescents, while the best friend and/or romantic partner plays a greater role later on.
  • Personality
  • addictive personality concept is appealing
  • Neuroticism and Psychoticism
  • biologically based theory of personality based on three dimensions:
  • Extraversion-introversion - extraverts are chronically under-aroused and bored, seek external stimulation to increase their cortical arousal
  • Neuroticism - people high in neuroticism experience negative affect
  • Psychoticism - related to hostility and impulsivity
  • a link has been found between addiction and high scores on both neuroticism and psychoticism
  • Tri-dimensional Theory of Addictive Behaviour
  • Three personality traits that predispose individuals towards substance dependece:
  • novelty seeking - trying to engage in new experiences
  • harm avoidance - includes worrying and being pessimistic
  • reward dependance - the extent to which an individual learns quickly from rewarding experiences and repeats behaviours that have been rewarded


  • Stress
  • Do addictions


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