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Psychology of Addictive Behaviors - Vol 31, Iss 6

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Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 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 disorders, (d) smoking and nicotine addiction, and (e) other compulsive behaviors (e.g., gambling). Full-length research reports, literature reviews, essays, brief reports, and comments are published. The journal is published four times yearly and is abstracted by Psychological Abstracts.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Gambling-Related Cognition Scale (GRCS): Are skills-based games at a disadvantage?
    The Gambling-Related Cognition Scale (GRCS; Raylu & Oei, 2004) was developed to evaluate gambling-related cognitive distortions for all types of gamblers, regardless of their gambling activities (poker, slot machine, etc.). It is therefore imperative to ascertain the validity of its interpretation across different types of gamblers; however, some skills-related items endorsed by players could be interpreted as a cognitive distortion despite the fact that they play skills-related games. Using an intergroup (168 poker players and 73 video lottery terminal [VLT] players) differential item functioning (DIF) analysis, this study examined the possible manifestation of item biases associated with the GRCS. DIF was analyzed with ordinal logistic regressions (OLRs) and Ramsay’s (1991) nonparametric kernel smoothing approach with TestGraf. Results show that half of the items display at least moderate DIF between groups and, depending on the type of analysis used, 3 to 7 items displayed large DIF. The 5 items with the most DIF were more significantly endorsed by poker players (uniform DIF) and were all related to skills, knowledge, learning, or probabilities. Poker players’ interpretations of some skills-related items may lead to an overestimation of their cognitive distortions due to their total score increased by measurement artifact. Findings indicate that the current structure of the GRCS contains potential biases to be considered when poker players are surveyed. The present study conveys new and important information on bias issues to ponder carefully before using and interpreting the GRCS and other similar wide-range instruments with poker players. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Target quit date timing as a predictor of smoking cessation outcomes.
    Evidence is mixed on whether timing of a target quit date (TQD) has an effect on quit success. The purpose of this secondary analysis of data from a prospective longitudinal study was to determine if time to TQD was a predictor of smoking abstinence at follow-up. Between 2011 and 2013, a total of 5,793 adult smokers participated in a 1-hr psychoeducation workshop and received 5 weeks of nicotine patch treatment. All participants were required to indicate a TQD within 1 month of the workshop. Latency to TQD was categorized into quartiles: 0 to 1 day (first quartile: 28.1%); 2 to 6 days (second quartile: 22.4%); 7 to 19 days (third quartile: 25.4%); 20–31 days (fourth quartile: 24.0%). Compared with participants who chose an immediate TQD within 1 day of the workshop, odds of having quit smoking at end-of-treatment and 6-month follow-up did not significantly differ among those who set a TQD within 2–6 days (5-weeks: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.89, p = .315; 6-months: AOR = 0.89, p = .417), but were significantly lower for those who chose a TQD either 7–19 days (5-weeks: AOR = 0.76, p = .023; 6-months: AOR = 0.70, p = .013) or 20–31 days (5-weeks: AOR = 0.64, p = .001; 6-months: AOR = 0.69, p = .017) after the workshop. TQD timing was an independent predictor of smoking cessation outcomes after controlling for potential confounding variables including confidence in quitting ability, importance of quitting, nicotine dependence, and number of nicotine patches used. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Age of initiation and substance use progression: A multivariate latent growth analysis.
    An individual’s age at first substance use may be associated with their risk for progression toward heavier substance involvement. To our knowledge, however, no studies within nationally representative samples have examined the relation between the timing of initiation and progression in use of multiple substances. The present study employed a sample of 9,421 participants from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health who reported on their ages of tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis initiation; frequency of tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis use; and quantity of tobacco and alcohol use across 4 waves. We fit latent growth models to examine (a) associations between the age of initiation and initial status and rate of change in substance involvement, and (b) the degree to which the timing of first substance use accounted for differences in trajectories. There were significant relations between all ages of initiation and rates of change in tobacco (βs = −0.21 to −0.31, ps <.01) and alcohol use frequency (βs = 0.14 to 0.31, ps <.001), age of cannabis initiation and rate of change in tobacco use quantity (β = 0.23, p <.01), and age of tobacco initiation and rate of change in cannabis use frequency (β = −0.14, p <.01). After adjusting for age of initiation, significant associations were observed between trajectories for tobacco and alcohol (r = .43, p <.0001) and alcohol and cannabis (r = .20, p <.05). Results highlight differences in within- and cross-substance relations between the age of initiation and rate of change in use across substances. They suggest that differences in substance use trajectories are partly accounted for by age at first use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Stressor-related drinking and future alcohol problems among university students.
    Research using daily designs has shown that daily stressors (i.e., conflict, school/work demands) are associated with alcohol use, and that the strength of within-person links between stressors and alcohol use differs from person to person. However, to our knowledge no research has tested whether individual differences in stressor-related drinking—characterized by within-person associations between daily stressors and drinking—predict risk for future alcohol problems, a relationship suggested by theoretical models. The current study used an Internet-based daily diary design among 744 university students to (a) examine the day-level relationship between stressors and alcohol use during the first 3 years of college, and (b) test whether individual differences in the stressor-drinking relationship, captured by person-specific slopes generated from multilevel models, predicted alcohol problems as measured by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) in the fourth year of college. Results showed that students were more likely to drink on days with many versus fewer stressors, and on drinking days, students consumed more drinks with each additional stressor they experienced. Next, using individual multilevel modeling slopes as predictors, we found that students whose odds of drinking alcohol increased more sharply on high- versus low-stressor days (steeper slopes) had more severe AUDIT alcohol problems in the fourth year than students whose drinking odds increased less sharply (flatter slopes). Findings highlight the role of daily stressors in college student drinking and suggest stressor-related drinking as a risk factor for future alcohol problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Group motivational interviewing for homeless young adults: Associations of change talk with substance use and sexual risk behavior.
    Homeless young adults exhibit high rates of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use and sexual risk behaviors. This study is a secondary analysis of data collected in a randomized clinical trial of AWARE, a new 4 session group motivational interviewing intervention. AWARE mainly focused on alcohol use and sexual risk behavior given focus group feedback. We used sequential coding to analyze how the group process affected both AOD use and sexual risk behavior at 3-month follow up among homeless young adults by examining facilitator behavior and participant change talk (CT) and sustain talk (ST). We analyzed 57 group session digital recordings of 100 youth (69% male, 74% heterosexual, 28% non-Hispanic white, 23% African American, 26% Hispanic, 23% multiracial/other; mean age 21.75). Outcomes included importance and readiness to change AOD use and risky sexual behavior, AOD use and consequences, number of partners and unprotected sex, and condom self-efficacy. Sequential analysis indicated that facilitator open-ended questions and reflections of CT increased Group CT. Group CT was associated with a lower likelihood of being a heavy drinker 3 months later; Group ST was associated with decreased readiness and confidence to change alcohol use. There were no associations with CT or ST for drug use or risky sexual behavior. Facilitator speech and peer responses were related to CT and ST during the group sessions with this high risk population, which were then associated with individual changes for alcohol use. Further research is needed to explore associations with drug use and sexual risk behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Between- and within-person associations between negative life events and alcohol outcomes in adolescents with ADHD.
    Escalations in alcohol use during adolescence may be linked with exposure to negative life events, but most of this research has focused on between-person associations. Moreover, adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be an especially vulnerable population, reporting more life events and alcohol involvement and may even be more sensitive to the effects of life events on alcohol outcomes compared with those without ADHD. We tested the between- and within-person effects of the number and perceptions of negative life events on the development of alcohol use outcomes from age 14 to 17 years in 259 adolescents with and without ADHD using generalized estimating equations. Between-person differences in exposure to negative life events across adolescence, but not the perception of those events, were associated with a higher likelihood of alcohol use and drunkenness at age 17 years. Within-person differences in life events were associated with alcohol use above and beyond that predicted by an adolescents’ typical trajectory over time. Parent- and teacher-reported ADHD symptoms were associated with more negative perceptions of life events and with greater alcohol use and drunkenness at age 17 years, but symptoms did not moderate the life event–alcohol association. Interventions should consider the variables that produce vulnerability to life events as well as the immediate impact of life events. That the accumulation of life events, rather than their perceived negativity, was associated with alcohol outcomes indicates that interventions targeting the reduction of negative events, rather than emotional response, may be more protective against alcohol use in adolescence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A longitudinal study predicting adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis use by behavioral characteristics of close friends.
    Few studies have examined in detail how specific behaviors of close friends put adolescents at risk for specific types of substance use. Using a prospective, longitudinal design, we examined how well the substance use of 248 young urban adolescents was predicted by perceptions of their 3 closest friends’ problematic behaviors: (1) using substances, (2) offering substances, and (3) engaging with friends in risky behavior (substance use, illegal behavior, violent behavior, or high-risk sexual behavior). Longitudinal multivariate repeated measures models were tested to predict tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis use and perceived closeness was tested as a moderator of the effects of perceptions of problematic peer behavior. Perceptions of peer substance use were significantly associated with tobacco use, and closeness moderated the influence of peer substance use and offers to use substances on tobacco use. Perceptions of problematic peer behaviors were not significantly associated with alcohol use and closeness was not significant as a moderator. Perceptions of peer substance use was significantly associated with cannabis use, and closeness moderated the influence of perceptions of peer risk behaviors, peer substance use, and offers to use substances on cannabis use. Results implicate the importance of understanding problematic peer behavior within the context of close, adolescent friendships. Adolescents with close friends who were substance users, who made offers to use substances, and who engaged in risky behaviors were more likely to use tobacco and cannabis. Perceptions of young adolescents’ close friends’ behaviors influenced their substance use up to 2 years later. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Does change in self-perceived problem drinker identity relate to change in alcohol use? An examination of nontreatment seeking hazardous drinkers.
    Identity change is related to reductions in alcohol use among treatment seekers, but it is unclear the extent to which identity change is associated with reductions in alcohol use among nontreatment seeking hazardous drinkers. The goal of the current study was to examine whether change in problem drinker identity (i.e., self-reported identification as a problem or nonproblem drinker) was associated with reductions in heavy drinking among nontreatment seeking hazardous drinkers. Participants (n = 149) completed measures to assess alcohol use and were asked if they identified as a problem drinker at baseline and at 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month follow-ups. Two groups were compared: (a) those who identified as a problem drinker at baseline but identified as a nonproblem drinker at 12 months and (b) those who did not make the same transition. Latent mixture modeling was conducted to examine whether change in problem drinker identity was predictive of heavy drinking latent class growth trajectories. The results indicated that a self-reported transition from identification as a problem drinker to identification as a nonproblem drinker was associated with greater reductions in heavy drinking over the assessment period and a 7 times greater likelihood of being in a rapidly decreasing heavy drinking latent trajectory class compared with participants who did not make the same transition. Self-reported transitions in identity appear to be a good predictor of heavy drinking trajectories among nontreatment seekers. A better understanding of what predicts transitions in drinking identity among non-treatment and treatment seekers is needed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Increase and decrease of other substance use during recovery from cannabis use disorders.
    Little is known about whether recovery from one addiction is associated with increased or decreased risk of subsequent other addictions. This study explored self-reported increases and decreases in other substance use among individuals who have recovered from cannabis use disorder. Media recruitment was used to obtain a sample of 119 individuals with lifetime but not past year cannabis use disorder (30% female). The median length of recovery was 5.0 years. Results showed that both increase and decrease in the use of other substances is very common in recovery from cannabis use. In general, other substance use decreased more than it increased. Individuals who reported only a decrease in other substance use (39%) and individuals who reported both increases and decreases in various substances (21%) reported a greater degree of cannabis-related problems and treatment-seeking than individuals who only reported an increase (26%) or no change (14%). Individuals who only increased use of other substances reported fewer cannabis-related problems and were more likely to have had self-directed recoveries. They were also less likely to use helping relationships (e.g., friends, family) as a recovery process and self-help group involvement as a maintenance strategy. Their recoveries seem to have been less socially influenced and socially imbedded than individuals who reduced other substance use. The findings suggest that treatment involvement and social influences may successfully discourage use of other substances upon recovery from cannabis. However, the impact of such use or lack of use on individuals’ functioning needs to be clarified in future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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