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APA Journal: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

Differences in childhood physical abuse reporting and the association between CPA and alcohol use disorder in European American and African American women.Open in a New Window

The goal of the current study was to examine whether the magnitude of the association between childhood physical abuse (CPA) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) varies by type of CPA assessment and race of the respondents. Data are from the Missouri adolescent female twins study and the Missouri family study (N = 4508) where 21.2% identified as African American (AA) and 78.8% as European American (EA); mean age = 23.8. Data were collected using a structured comprehensive interview which assessed CPA experiences using behavioral questions about specific abusive behaviors and trauma checklist items. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were conducted, adjusting for additional risk factors associated with AUD, including co-occurring psychiatric disorders (defined as time-varying) and parental alcohol misuse. Overall, CPA reporting patterns were highly correlated (tetrachoric ρ = 0.73); although, only 25.8% of women who endorsed behaviorally defined CPA also endorsed checklist items whereas 72.2% of women who endorsed checklist items also endorsed behavioral questions. Racial disparities were evident, with behaviorally defined CPA increasing the hazard for AUD in EA but not AA women. Additional racial disparities in the risk for AUD were observed: increased hazard for AUD were associated with major depressive disorder in AA, and cannabis dependence and paternal alcohol problems in EA, women. Results demonstrate the relevance of the type of CPA measure in assessing CPA in studies of alcohol-related problems—behavioral items may be more inclusive of CPA exposure and more predictive of AUD– and highlight racial distinctions of AUD etiology in women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Combining self-affirmation and implementation intentions to reduce heavy episodic drinking in university students.Open in a New Window

Studies testing the effects of self-affirmation on alcohol-related cognitions and behavior in university students have produced equivocal results. Because self-affirmation is a motivational technique (i.e., designed to reduce defensive processing) it may need to be supplemented with volitional techniques, such as forming if-then plans, to translate positive intentions into behavior. Participants (N = 348) were randomly assigned to conditions in a 2 (self-affirmation) × 2 (implementation intention) between-participants factorial design. Participants completed a self-affirmation task (i.e., values essay) or not, read a summary about the health risks of binge drinking (8/6 units for men/women), and then completed an implementation intention task (i.e., forming if-then plans) or not. Participants then completed measures of message derogation, perceived risk, and intention as well as alcohol consumption 1 week later. All main and interaction effects for self-affirmation were nonsignificant. In contrast, participants who formed implementation intentions (vs. not) reported drinking fewer units of alcohol and engaged in binge drinking less frequently at 1-week follow-up. Additional analyses revealed that affirming a social value attenuated the effect of self-affirmation on intention, but augmented the effect of implementation intentions on behavior. Overall, the findings provide additional evidence for the positive effects of implementation intentions but question the use of self-affirmation to reduce alcohol consumption in university students. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Social imitation of alcohol consumption and ingratiation motives in young adults.Open in a New Window

Across 2 studies we tested the hypothesis that social ingratiation motives may be an important factor explaining social imitation of alcohol consumption. In Study 1, participants drank alcohol with a heavy versus light drinking confederate under conditions that were designed to heighten or reduce (participants believed they would not be judged) motivation for ingratiation. In Study 2 we manipulated the degree to which participants believed they had already successfully ingratiated themselves with a heavy or no (alcohol) drinking confederate. In Study 1, participants’ alcohol consumption was most strongly influenced by the confederate’s drinking behavior when they believed that they would later be judged by the confederate. In Study 2, participants’ alcohol consumption was influenced by the confederate’s drinking behavior and this effect was particularly pronounced if participants were unsure if the confederate had accepted them. The desire for social ingratiation may in part explain why people imitate the drinking behavior of those around them. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Parental divorce and initiation of alcohol use in early adolescence.Open in a New Window

Parental divorce/separation is among the most commonly endorsed adverse childhood events. It has been shown to increase subsequent risk of alcohol dependence and problems across adolescence and early adulthood, but its influence on early stages of alcohol involvement has only recently been explored. In the present study, we examined whether time to first full drink was accelerated among youth who experienced parental divorce/separation. To determine specificity of risk, models controlled for perceived stress as well as family history of alcoholism, current parental drinking, and internalizing and externalizing problems. Developmental specificity in terms of timing of both parental divorce and first drink was also examined. Participants were 931 middle-school students (488 girls, 443 boys) who were enrolled in a prospective study on drinking initiation and progression (52% female; 23% non-White, 11% Hispanic). Students indicated whether and at what age they had consumed a full drink of alcohol. Parental divorce/separation was coded from a parent-reported life-events inventory and was grouped based on age experienced (ages 0–5, ages 6–9, age 10+). Cox proportional hazard models showed increased risk for onset of drinking as a function of divorce/separation, even controlling for stress, parental alcohol involvement, and psychopathology. There was no evidence for developmental specificity of the divorce/separation effect based on when it occurred nor in timing of first drink. However, the effect of parental divorce/separation on initiation was magnified at higher levels of parental drinking. Given the rates of parental divorce/separation and its association with increased risk of early drinking, investigation of the mechanisms underlying this link is clearly warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


The effects of social anxiety on alcohol and cigarette use across adolescence: Results from a longitudinal twin study in Finland.Open in a New Window

Conflicting reports exist on the direction of the relationship between social anxiety (SA) and alcohol/cigarette use (AU/CU) and alcohol/nicotine dependence (AD/ND), with both positive and negative associations reported. A prospective, longitudinal sample of Finnish twins (n = 1,906) was used to test potential explanations for these discrepancies. Specifically, this study used peer, parent, and teacher ratings of SA, and a clinical interview screening item for social anxiety disorder (SAD-Sc) to examine associations between SA and AU/CU and AD/ND from early adolescence into young adulthood. Peer-rated SA was negatively associated with AU, CU, and AD from age 14 through age 22, implying a protective effect (β = −0.01 to −.03). Teacher- and parent-rated SA associations were in the same directions but weaker or nonsignificant, indicating that aspects of SA that are recognizable by peers may be most relevant to AU/CU. Self-reported SAD-Sc was also negatively associated with AU, but positively associated with AD symptoms in young adulthood (β = 0.38). Our findings partially support the existence of different associations between SA and AU versus AD, but only in the context of SAD-Sc rather than trait SA. Neither trait SA nor SAD-Sc significantly predicted ND symptoms, although SAD-Sc was associated with both cigarette abstinence and daily smoking. These findings suggest that adolescent SA is modestly associated with lower AU/CU, although there may be some individuals with more severe SA who develop alcohol problems later in life. There was little evidence of a common underlying liability contributing to both SA and alcohol/cigarette use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Smoker identity development among adolescents who smoke.Open in a New Window

Adolescents who smoke are more likely to escalate their smoking frequency if they believe smoking is self-defining. Knowing factors that are associated with development of a smoker identity among adolescents who smoke may help to identify who will become a regular smoker. We investigated whether smoker identity development is associated with internal and external motives for smoking. For comparison, we also investigated whether social smoker identity development is associated with internal and external motives for smoking. Adolescents who smoke (n = 292) completed measures of smoker and social smoker identity, internal motives for smoking (negative affect coping, positive affect enhancement), and external motives for smoking (social fit) at baseline, 6-, 15-, and 24-month assessments of an ongoing longitudinal study of smoking patterns. We examined whether change in smoker and social smoker identity from 6 to 24 months was associated with change in motives at earlier assessment waves. We also explored whether gender moderated these relationships. Increases in negative affect coping motives were associated with smoker identity development among both males and females. Increases in social motives were associated with smoker identity development among males, and increases in negative affect coping motives were associated with social smoker identity development among females. Smoker and social smoker identities are signaled by negative affect coping as well as social motives for smoking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Progression of nicotine dependence, mood level, and mood variability in adolescent smokers.Open in a New Window

Mood processes are theorized to play a role in the initiation and progression of smoking behavior. Available work using real-time assessments in samples of young smokers, including several reports from the Social and Emotional Contexts of Adolescent Smoking Patterns (SECASP) study, has indicated that smoking events acutely improve mood and that escalating smoking frequency may stabilize mood. However, prior analyses have not specifically evaluated within-person change in nicotine dependence, which is conceptually distinguishable from frequent smoking and may be associated with unique mood consequences. The current investigation addressed this question using data from 329 adolescent SECASP participants (9th or 10th grade at recruitment) who contributed mood reports via ecological momentary assessment in up to four 1-week bursts over the course of 24 months. Mixed-effects location scale analyses revealed that within-person increases in scores on the Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale were associated with elevations in negative mood level and increased variability of both positive and negative moods. These effects remained when within-person changes in smoking frequency were covaried and were not fully attributable to a subgroup of youth who rapidly escalated their smoking frequency over time. The findings indicate that adolescents tend to show increasing levels of positive mood states, decreasing levels of negative mood, and diminishing mood variability between ages 16 to 18, but progression of nicotine dependence may counteract some of these developmental gains. Emergence of withdrawal symptoms is a likely explanation for the adverse mood effects associated with dependence progression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Cognitive regulation of smoking behavior within a cigarette: Automatic and nonautomatic processes.Open in a New Window

There has been limited research on cognitive processes governing smoking behavior in individuals who are tobacco dependent. In a replication (Baxter & Hinson, 2001) and extension, this study examined the theory (Tiffany, 1990) that drug use may be controlled by automatic processes that develop over repeated use. Heavy and occasional cigarette smokers completed a button-press reaction time (RT) task while concurrently smoking a cigarette, pretending to smoke a lit cigarette, or not smoking. Slowed RT during the button-press task indexed the cognitive disruption associated with nonautomatic control of behavior. Occasional smokers’ RTs were slowed when smoking or pretending to smoke compared with when not smoking. Heavy smokers’ RTs were slowed when pretending to smoke versus not smoking; however, their RTs were similarly fast when smoking compared with not smoking. The results indicated that smoking behavior was more highly regulated by controlled, nonautomatic processes among occasional smokers and by automatic processes among heavy smokers. Patterns of RT across the interpuff interval indicated that occasional smokers were significantly slowed in anticipation of and immediately after puffing onset, whereas heavy smokers were only slowed significantly after puffing onset. These findings suggest that the entirety of the smoking sequence becomes automatized, with the behaviors leading up to puffing becoming more strongly regulated by automatic processes with experience. These results have relevance to theories on the cognitive regulation of cigarette smoking and support the importance of interventions that focus on routinized behaviors that individuals engage in during and leading up to drug use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Using the Theory of Planned Behavior to predict implementation of harm reduction strategies among MDMA/ecstasy users.Open in a New Window

This prospective study was designed to test whether the variables proposed by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) were associated with baseline intention to implement and subsequent use of 2 MDMA/ecstasy-specific harm reduction interventions: preloading/postloading and pill testing/pill checking. Using targeted Facebook advertisements, an international sample of 391 recreational ecstasy users were recruited to complete questionnaires assessing their ecstasy consumption history, and their attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, habit strength (past strategy use), and intention to use these two strategies. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were significantly associated with baseline intention to preload/postload and pill test/pill check. Out of the 391 baseline participants, 100 completed the two-month follow-up assessment. Baseline habit strength and frequency of ecstasy consumption during the three months prior to baseline were the only significant predictors of how often participants used the preloading/postloading strategy during the follow-up. Baseline intention to pill test/pill check was the only significant predictor of how often participants used this strategy during the follow-up. These findings provide partial support for TPB variables as both correlates of baseline intention to implement and predictors of subsequent use of these two strategies. Future investigations could assess whether factors related to ecstasy consumption (e.g., subjective level of intoxication, craving, negative consequences following consumption), and environmental factors (e.g., accessibility and availability of harm reduction resources) improve the prediction of how often ecstasy users employ these and other harm reduction strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


The resilience scale for adults in italy: A validation study comparing clinical substance abusers with a nonclinical sample.Open in a New Window

This article reports a validation study of the Italian version of the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA), a measure designed to assess individual, family, and social resilience protective resources. The RSA was administered to a clinical (i.e., substance use disorders, or SUD; N = 437) and a nonclinical sample (N = 337). A confirmatory factor analyses supported the original 6-factor structure of the RSA in both samples. The RSA correlated positively with functional coping strategies and negatively with perceived stress and dysfunctional coping strategies. Moreover, the RSA subscales discriminated between SUD and non-SUD individuals. Factorial invariance testing also confirmed comparable psychometric properties across gender. The results confirm good psychometric properties of the Italian RSA and provide support for the construct validity of the scale. The RSA may be suited for use in studies examining natural course and intervention trials. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Normative influences on the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants among college students.Open in a New Window

Recent epidemiological data indicate an increasing trend in the nonmedical use of prescription drugs among college students. The nonmedical use of prescription drugs involves using a prescription medication without a prescription, or using the medication in a manner inconsistent with a health care provider’s instructions. Among college students, prescription stimulants have the highest ratio of nonmedical to medical use and the highest rate of illicit selling and trading on college campuses. The increased prevalence is accompanied by increased risk, as 18–25-year-olds have the highest rate of emergency department visits for nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NMUPS). To date, no study has examined the impact of social norms on NMUPS. The social norm theory has accounted for other health related behaviors (e.g., alcohol and marijuana use) and has been utilized in brief interventions targeting risky health behaviors. The current study examined the prevalence of self-reported NMUPS among college students and the impact of perceived social norms on NMUPS. The current study included 959 participants who completed an online survey that assessed for NMUPS, self-approval for NMUPS, and perceived descriptive and injunctive norms for NMUPS. Similar to previous research on alcohol and marijuana use, students overestimated the prevalence of NMUPS and this overestimation was related to past-year NMUPS. Perceived close friend and parental approval of NMUPS was positively related to self-approval and past-year NMUPS. Overall, the study broadens the existing literature on NMUPS and provides a platform for developing brief interventions that target this risky behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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