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Substance abuse, comorbidity, and sensation seeking: gender differences

Substance abuse, comorbidity, and sensation seeking: gender differences

Comprehensive Psychiatry 37(6): 384-392

Two hundred sixty-two probands and 261 of their relatives with DSM-III-R diagnoses of drug and alcohol abuse and/or anxiety disorders completed the Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale. It was hypothesised that subjects with both substance abuse disorders and comorbid anxiety disorders would have lower sensation-seeking profiles than subjects with substance abuse alone. This was confirmed in women, with thrill- and adventure-seeking scores showing significant differences between pure substance abusers and those with a comorbid anxiety disorder, lending support to theories that substance abusers are a heterogeneous group. In men, there were fewer significant differences between diagnostic groups. If substance abusers are indeed a heterogeneous group, with some motivated by high sensation-seeking needs, a better understanding of these motivations can lead to more effective strategies of prevention and treatment, according to etiology.

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Accession: 009484894

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8932962

DOI: 10.1016/s0010-440x(96)90021-8

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