Substance abuse and behavioural problems. Prevalence and psychological aspects of importance
Sammanfattning: Degree of Licentiate in Psychology Abstract Punzi, E (2010). Substance abuse and behavioural problems. Prevalenee and psychological aspects of importance. Department of Psychology, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden The aim of this thesis was to investigate prevalence of behavioural problems (Le. food intake, sexual activities, gambling and exercise) among individuals with substance abuse, and if these problems had been considered during assessment and treatment. Moreover, possible psychological aspects of importance for understanding the relationship between substance abuse and behavioural problems were also investigated. In a first study, 83 adult male and females individuals with substance abuse, answered a questionnaire regarding occurrence of behavioural problems and if such problems had been identified during their treatment. In a subsequent study, nine individuals with substance abuse who reported behavioural problems participated in a semi-structure interview regarding the relationship between their substance abuse and behavioural problems. Findings from the first study showed that 63 percent of the individuals reported behavioural problems, mainly with food intake and sexual activities. The majority abused multiple substances and had two or more behavioural problems. The results also showed that behavioural problems could not be identified via their pattem of substance abuse or gender. Findings from the second study showed that there were mainly two psychological factors of importance for understanding the relationship between substance abuse and behavioural problems; the individuals' sense of self in terms of negative, insufficient and positive sense of self, and what purpose use of substance use and/or behaviour fulfils. Findings from this thesis indicates that behavioural problems are relatively common among both men and women participating in treatment of substance abuse, and that individuals with these both problems can not be identified via their pattem of substance abuse. Since substance abuse and behavioural problems is a complex individual phenomenon, it is of importance that methods for identifying and assessing behavioural problems are developed and that such methods are used routinely in treatment units for substance abuse. Key words: Addiction, Behavioural problems, Clinical screening and assessment, Gender, Prevalence, Sense of self, Substance abuse Elisabeth Punzi, Department ofPsychology, the University of Gothenburg, Box 500, S-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden. Phone: +46-313423194, Fax: +46-31- 7864628, e-mail: [email protected]
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