Subscribe: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors - Vol 23, Iss 4
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Preview: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors - Vol 23, Iss 4

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors - Vol 30, Iss 6

The Psychology of Addictive Behaviors publishes peer-reviewed original articles related to the psychological aspects of addictive behaviors. Articles on the following topics are included: (a) alcohol and alcoholism, (b) drug use and abuse, (c) eating diso

Last Build Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 19:00:20 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Psychological Association

Family systems therapy for substance-using mothers and their 8- to 16-year-old children.


Family systems therapy has shown to be a powerful adjunct to substance use treatment for couples and for adolescent substance users (Rowe, 2012). However, studies including children (8−16 years of age) in the treatment of their substance using mothers have been overlooked and are essentially nonexistent. Addressing the quality of the mother–child relationship and communication through family systems therapy may prove to be a potent intervention focus for improving mothers’ substance use outcomes and parent–child interaction. As such, the current study recruited 183 mothers who sought outpatient treatment through a local substance use treatment facility and randomly assigned them to also receive family systems therapy or Women’s Health Education. Self-report and observational data were collected, and assessment interviews were completed at baseline and 3, 6, 12, and 18 months postbaseline. Findings showed that women assigned to family systems therapy showed a quicker decline in alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine use, supporting the efficacy of family therapy as an important addition to mother’s substance use treatment plans. Data also revealed an association between change in observed autonomy-relatedness and substance use, though mediation was not found. To our knowledge this is the first effort to successfully document a family systems therapy for substance using mothers with minor children in their care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Within-person associations between daily motivation and self-efficacy and drinking among problem drinkers in treatment.


Gaining a better understanding of the change process holds promise to improve alcohol treatment. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) coupled with intensive longitudinal data (ILD) approaches have been proposed as promising methods that can advance change process research but have been used infrequently in alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment research. The current study used these approaches to examine the within-person associations of motivation and self-efficacy and drinking among treatment-seeking problem drinkers. Participants (N = 96) received daily EMA surveys before, during, and after treatment for 7 weeks spread over a 9-month period. Multilevel modeling was used to test the within-person relationships between the change processes and drinking, controlling for between-person associations and prior drinking. Results indicated that daily fluctuations in motivation and self-efficacy significantly predicted drinking over the next 24 hours; however, several theory-driven hypotheses regarding factors that might moderate that relationship were not supported. Overall, results support the advantages of EMA and ILD as methods that can advance AUD treatment research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Predictors and outcomes of drinkers’ use of protective behavioral strategies.


While protective behavioral strategies (PBSs) have the potential to reduce alcohol-related harm, there is a lack of understanding of the factors influencing adults’ use of these strategies. The present study assessed the frequency of enactment of a range of PBSs among Australian adults and identified factors associated with their use and the implications for alcohol harm minimization. A sample of 2,168 Australian drinkers (1,095 males and 1,073 females) recruited via a web panel provider completed an online survey that included items relating to quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, beliefs about the health consequences of alcohol consumption, use of 5 specific PBSs (e.g., counting drinks and eating while drinking), and demographic characteristics. In general, use of these PBSs was negatively associated with overall alcohol consumption. However, usage rates were relatively low, especially among the heaviest drinkers. Refusing unwanted drinks and alternating between alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages were identified as especially important strategies in the Australian context, accounting for a substantial proportion of the variance in alcohol consumption. Greater efforts to increase awareness and use of PBSs are warranted. In particular, the results suggest that information relating to the importance of refusing unwanted drinks and alternating between alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages should be actively disseminated to the drinking public. In addition, the reliance on specified numbers of standard drinks in national drinking guidelines suggests encouraging drinkers to count their drinks should be a further focus of interventions given low reported prevalence of this behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Ascertaining the relationships between the trajectories of specific categories of alcohol-related negative consequences and subsequent drinking behavior.


The first year following alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment has been identified as a period of high risk for relapse and an important timeframe for enquiry regarding alcohol-related behavior change and its maintenance. In addition, at least among individuals with AUD, alcohol use and negative consequences have been shown to be reciprocally related. A commonly used measure of alcohol-related negative consequences is the Drinker Inventory of Consequences (DrInC). Investigations of specific categories of alcohol-related negative consequences and their trajectories, however, have been lacking. Given this background, the purpose of this study was to: follow the course of the 5 DrInC categories of alcohol-related negative consequences over the first year post-AUD treatment initiation; investigate whether these trajectories varied by gender, age, and/or treatment condition; examine the relationships between these trajectories and subsequent drinking behavior; and investigate whether these relationships varied by gender, age, and/or treatment condition, via secondary data analyses. Data from the outpatient arm of Project MATCH (n = 952) were utilized. Study results revealed that the trajectory of each DrInC category was indicative of improved alcohol-related problems across the first year posttreatment initiation. Specific DrInC categories varied as a function of gender, age, and treatment condition, and the trajectories were predictive of subsequent drinking behavior. Specifically, higher intercepts during the treatment period were associated with poorer drinking behavior 1 year later. Alternatively, steeper negative slopes were associated with improved drinking behavior. Some of these relationships were modified by gender, age, and treatment condition. It was concluded that assessing alcohol-related negative consequences during the first year posttreatment initiation period has clinical utility. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Not the same old thing: Establishing the unique contribution of drinking identity as a predictor of alcohol consumption and problems over time.


Drinking identity—how much individuals view themselves as drinkers—is a promising cognitive factor that predicts problem drinking. Implicit and explicit measures of drinking identity have been developed (the former assesses more reflexive/automatic cognitive processes; the latter more reflective/controlled cognitive processes): each predicts unique variance in alcohol consumption and problems. However, implicit and explicit identity’s utility and uniqueness as predictors relative to cognitive factors important for problem drinking screening and intervention has not been evaluated. Thus, the current study evaluated implicit and explicit drinking identity as predictors of consumption and problems over time. Baseline measures of drinking identity, social norms, alcohol expectancies, and drinking motives were evaluated as predictors of consumption and problems (evaluated every 3 months over 2 academic years) in a sample of 506 students (57% female) in their first or second year of college. Results found that baseline identity measures predicted unique variance in consumption and problems over time. Further, when compared to each set of cognitive factors, the identity measures predicted unique variance in consumption and problems over time. Findings were more robust for explicit versus implicit identity and in models that did not control for baseline drinking. Drinking identity appears to be a unique predictor of problem drinking relative to social norms, alcohol expectancies, and drinking motives. Intervention and theory could benefit from including and considering drinking identity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

A novel application in the study of client language: Alcohol and marijuana-related statements in substance-using adolescents during a simulation task.


The current study explored whether laboratory-based techniques can provide a strategy for studying client language as a mechanism of behavior change. Specifically, this study examined the potential of a simulation task to elicit healthy talk, or self-motivational statements in favor of healthy behavior, related to marijuana and alcohol use. Participants (N = 84) were adolescents reporting at least 10 lifetime substance use episodes recruited from various community settings in an urban Pacific Northwest setting. Participants completed the Adolescent Simulated Intoxication Digital Elicitation (A-SIDE), a validated paradigm for assessing substance use decision making in peer contexts. Participants responded to 4 types of offers in the A-SIDE: (a) marijuana, (b) food (marijuana control), (c) alcohol, and (d) soda (alcohol control). Using a validated coding scheme adapted for the current study, client language during a structured interview assessing participants’ response to the simulated offers was evaluated. Associations between percent healthy talk (PHT, calculated by dividing the number of healthy statements by the sum of all substance-related statements) and cross-sectional outcomes of interest (previous substance use, substance use expectancies, and behavioral willingness) were explored. The frequency of substance-related statements differed in response to offer type; rate of PHT did not. PHT was associated with behavioral willingness to accept the offer. However, PHT was not associated with decontextualized measures of substance use. Associations between PHT and global expectancies were limited. Simulation methods may be useful in investigating the impact of context on self-talk and to systematically explore client language as a mechanism of change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Perceptions of breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) levels among a sample of bar patrons with BrAC values of 0.08% or higher.


Breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) is a commonly used measure of alcohol intoxication. Because of the potential negative consequences of excessive alcohol consumption, it is important to examine how accurately intoxicated individuals can estimate their BrAC values, especially individuals over the legal BrAC driving threshold (i.e., 0.08%). To better understand perceptions of BrAC values among intoxicated individuals, this field study examined actual BrAC values and BrAC range estimates (0.08% and above, 0.02–0.07%, less than 0.02%) among a sample of bar patrons (N = 454) with BrAC levels at 0.08% or higher. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between actual BrAC values and perceived BrAC levels. We also examined whether the following demographic and drinking variables were associated with underestimating BrAC in this sample: gender, age, race, college student status, plans to get home, and hazardous drinking. Results indicated that the majority (60.4%) of participants underestimated their BrAC (i.e., less than 0.08%) and lower BrAC values correlated with underestimating BrAC ranges (p < .001, 95% CI[0.2, 0.6]). Further, females (p = .001, 95% CI[1.3, 3.3]) and participants under 21 (p = .039, 95% CI = 1.0, 2.6) were significantly more likely to estimate their BrAC to be less than 0.08%, which is concerning given that young (less than 21) intoxicated females are a group at high risk for sexual assault on college campuses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The couple that smokes together: Dyadic marijuana use and relationship functioning during conflict.


Self-reported marijuana use has been associated with poor relationship functioning and decreased stability over time. The present study examined the behavioral interactions of couples with concordant and discordant patterns of marijuana use during conflict, using individual self-reports and observation by independent coders. Heavy drinking community couples (N = 149) participated in a conflict resolution paradigm. Interactions were recorded and coded by naïve coders. Approximately 30% of the sample reported past year marijuana use. Actor-Partner Interdependence Models and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to evaluate the individual and interactive effects of dyadic marijuana use on maladaptive relationship functioning. A Robust Actor × Partner Marijuana Use interaction was detected for a range of behavioral outcomes, assessed by both self-report and direct observation, including relationship satisfaction, anger experience, patterns of demand and withdrawal during conflict, constructive behaviors, and overall relationship quality. Specifically, couples in which both partners used or abstained from marijuana displayed more adaptive relationship functioning across indicators relative to couples in which only 1 partner identified as a marijuana user. This pattern was particularly strong for couples in which the female partner used marijuana and the male partner did not. Couples with discordant, rather than concordant, marijuana use displayed distinct conflict resolution behaviors that were consistent with the long-term negative relationship outcomes that have been observed in previous studies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The relationship between gambling fallacies and problem gambling.


The cognitive model of problem gambling posits that erroneous gambling-related fallacies are key in the development and maintenance of problem gambling. However, this contention is based on cross-sectional rather than longitudinal associations between these constructs, and gambling fallacy instruments that may have inflated this associated by their inclusion of problem gambling symptomatology. The current research re-evaluates the relationship between problem gambling and gambling-specific erroneous cognitions in a 5-year longitudinal study of gambling using a psychometrically sound measure of erroneous gambling-related cognitions. The sample used in this study (n = 4,121) was recruited from the general population in Ontario, Canada, and the retention rate over 5 years was exceptionally high (93.9%). The total sample was similar, in age and gender distributions, to the census data at the time of data collection for Canadian adults (18–24 years, n = 265, 55.8% female; 25–44 years, n = 1,667, 56.4% female; 45–64 years, n = 1,731, 55.4% female; 65 + years, n = 458, 44.75% female). Results of both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses confirm that gambling-specific fallacies appear to be etiologically related to the subsequent appearance of problem gambling, but to a weaker degree than previously presumed, and in a bidirectional manner. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Attentional bias to betel quid cues: An eye tracking study.


The World Health Organization regards betel quid as a human carcinogen, and DSM–IV and ICD-10 dependence symptoms may develop with heavy use. This study, conducted in central Taiwan, investigated whether betel quid chewers can exhibit overt orienting to selectively respond to the betel quid cues. Twenty-four male chewers’ and 23 male nonchewers’ eye movements to betel-quid-related pictures and matched pictures were assessed during a visual probe task. The eye movement index showed that betel quid chewers were more likely to initially direct their gaze to the betel quid cues, t(23) = 3.70, p p₂ = .17, and were more fixated, F(1, 23) = 5.18, pp₂ = .18, on them. The visual probe index (response time) failed to detect the chewers’ attentional bias. The current study provided the first eye movement evidence of betel quid chewers’ attentional bias. The results demonstrated that the betel quid chewers (but not the nonchewers) were more likely to initially direct their gaze to the betel quid cues, and spent more time and were more fixated on them. These findings suggested that when attention is directly measured through the eye tracking technique, this methodology may be more sensitive to detecting attentional biases in betel quid chewers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)