An investigation of the relationship between adolescent substance abuse and personality in a residential treatment center Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5712m991f

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  • Over the past ten years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of drug addicted teens in this country. Accompanying this increase in drug usage of adolescents has been an rise in the number of treatment and evaluation centers to serve the adolescent drug abusing population. Comprehensive and individualized assessment of drug addicted teens is needed as the basis for adolescent treatment programs. Many adolescent drug treatment programs have relied primarily on in-house, informal questionnaires to assess personality traits. There is a need for more objective measures to assess personality traits in adolescent drug addicted populations. This study used information from intake interviews of 842 inpatient adolescents and examined the amount of drug use in relationship to; personality, negative life events (number of times arrested for drugs, number of times runaway from home, number of suicide attempts, and substance abuse) and gender. Personality was assessed using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). This study family history of decreased the complexity of interpreting MMPI results by reducing the scores to categories reflective of two common personality traits found in drug addicted populations - introversion and extroversion. Codetypes, which reflect the subjects two most heightened clinical MMPI scales, were also utilized in this study. In this investigation personality traits of introversion and extroversion were not found to be related to amount of drug use, or gender. A heightened scale 4 (Psychopathic Deviate) was consistently found in this sample of adolescent drug abusers. Gender differences were found in membership in codetype group and in terms of total amount of drug use. Females who reported a maternal family history of substance abuse were more likely to use greater amounts of drugs than males with either a maternal or paternal family history of substance abuse. Negative life events were found to differ by gender with females having higher rates of suicide attempts than males, and males having greater number of drug arrests than females. A thorough assessment of maternal drug history for drug addicted females, and treatment modalities focused on personality types who score high on MMPI scale 4, may be important issues to be considered in residential treatment of drug addicted adolescents.
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