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PSYA4 - ADDICTION - risk factors

Vulnerability to addiction

Clare Schulze

on 26 February 2016

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Transcript of PSYA4 - ADDICTION - risk factors

Vulnerability to addiction
Risk Factors in the
development of addiction

However recent work has suggested that the influence of peers is often over-emphasised (2006). Experimenting with drugs when alone is a key factor in the development of addiction
Addicts who cope badly with stress are more prone to relapse than those who deal with stress. (Cleveland & Harris 2010)
Remember APPS
Key Study
Childs et al (2010)
Aim - to examine how stress influences smoking in a sample of regular smokers
Recruited daily smokers (M=12 F=4)
Divided randomly into 2 conditions
1. exposed to a stressful task
2. exposed to a control, non stressful task
A range of personality factors have been linked to addiction (Lang 1983)
Read New york times article....
Teenagers who start using alcohol or other drugs at an early age have a higher risk of developing an addiction later on.

A similar link exists for smoking
The effect of starting younger has been linked to a higher risk of later addiction, could be due to genetic or to learned factors.
Neuroticism, Extroversion & Psychoticism linked to addiction (Eysenck)

Tri-dimentional theory of addictive behaviour (Cloniger 1987)

Impulsive behavioour & Sensation seeking
Social Learning Theory (Bandura 1977)
Risk Factor 1
Suggested that young people more prone to addiction because they have less mature brains. This means they are more sensitive to positive effects of drugs than older people. They also experience fewer bad effects of drugs than adults.
According to the dog book what/how influences adolescence and who/what influences older ages?
How can we evaluate this?
Risk Factor 2
Lots of research to suggest young people are influenced by peers. It is thought peer pressure is a major cause in starting to smoke. This links to Social Learning theory. Young people are more likely to imitate behaviour if they see it as rewarding e.g., smoking makes them seem cool.
McAlistair (1984) found increased levels of smoking was linked to peer encouragement and approval to smoke. This suggest that smoking is seen as an activity which has rewards which could explain why more young than old people smoke.
Sussman & Ames (2001) found that friend and peer use of drugs is a strong predictor of drug use among teenagers due to role modelling and be offered drugs by their peer group, demonstrating the influence of social networks in determining levels of individual vulnerability
What can you remember about
Social Identity theory (Abrams & Hogg 1990)
Evaluating Peers
Social learning theory
Social Identity theory
Research support for SLT and smoking
Duncan et al (1995) - Found exposure to peer models increases the likelihood that teenagers will begin smoking
Eiser et al (1989) Research support for the claim that perceived rewards such as social status and popularity are instrumental in why adolescants begin smoking and remain important while they continue to smoke.
What else could we say about peers?
What did Mitchell, (1997) suggest?
Personality & mobile phone addiction
Vulnerability to addiction:

What factors mean one individual is more susceptible to addiction that another?

Propsed a psychological resource model, i.e. the individual develops an addictive habit because it fulfils a certain purpose related to the personality type of the individual:

Psychoticism: aggressive, cold, impulsive and egocentric characteristics

Neuroticism: moody, irritable and anxious characteristics

Extraversion: sociable, lively and optimistic characteristics

Hans Eysenck (1997)
What did Francis find?
Cloniger (1987)
An addictive personality?
Or just a combination of traits?
Create a case study of a “patient” you’re currently seeing for an addictive behaviour.

You need to explain:
• What their problem is
• Their current circumstances
• When the problem first occurred
• What made the problem known
• What you think has caused them their problem
• Factors that made them vulnerable to the addiction

Problem:Cookie has shown aggressive behaviours towards his friends when he is hungry and they are holding cookies. He will go vacant eyed and will mutter about "cookies omnomnom" whenever he is near a cookie.
Current circumstances: Cookie has recently fallen out with his long-term partner Kermit and they are facing separation proceedings. This conflict has left Cookie homeless and stressed.
•Cookie's problem first became known around 10 years ago, but it has recently become more apparent.
How did the issue become known?
Cookie was bought to me after being found in a bakery, his stomach fully distended. He had also tried to inject cookie dough. He had broken and entered the property and is facing criminal charges.
What you think has caused them their problem: Cookie's current conditions
Factors that made them vulnerable to the addiction: Cookie's mother was an addict, as was his maternal grandfather. His siblings all have problems, one being an alcoholic.


Cookie, 30 yo.
Share your face partner your case study.
• Identify (using a tabbed post it) where the vulnerability e.gs are.
• Can you spot any vulnerability factors that the psychiatrist has missed?
Self medication model says...
The self-medication model suggests:
Many habits develop as a "treatment" for stress (and relief from stress) such as alcohol and nicotine.
Evaluation points to consider
Research support for personality as a cause of addiction)
Weintraib (2010)
January 2013 - Fifteen-year-old Jenny has recently started smoking. She believes that smoking will stop her putting on weight and help her to cope with stress. Most of her friends smoke and she thinks that smoking helps her to fit in with the group of popular girls, whom she sees as fun-loving and cool.

Using your knowledge of vulnerability to addiction, discuss some of the vulnerability factors that contribute to Jenny’s smoking. Refer to relevant research in your answer. (10 marks)

1. RAG rate the 'models' section of
2. Homework sheet
Case Studies on Addictions
Starter - Which sampling method?
3. Mini Assessment
Full transcript