A study to examine and compare levels of narcissism, separation anxiety and significant other relations in opiate misusers and non-opiate misusers

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Smyth, Sarah
Issue Date
MA in Addiction Studies
Dublin Business School
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This study's primary aim was to examine levels of narcissism in opiate misusers and compare their levels to non-opiate misusers. The study also looked at opiate misusers levels of separation anxiety and significant other relationships (parental and peer) and compared their scores to non-opiate users. The conditions of the independent variable are opiate users and non-opiate users. The dependent variables are narcissism, separation anxiety, and significant other relationships. It is hypothesised that participants in the drug misusers condition will have higher levels of narcissism ~d separation anxiety than the non-drug users condition. In relation to parent and peer relations, the drug using condition will score lower than non-drug users in their parental relations, and will score higher in peer relations. The hypothesis is based on the belief that narcissism plays an important role in addiction since drug use provides a mechanism to re-establish such a central area of omnipotence; it may serve as a corrective when an addiction-vulnerable individual is flooded with feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. That is, by acting to take control of one's own affective state, addictive behaviour may serve to restore a sense of control when there is a perception that control or power has been lost or taken away. Between-group differences are measured are examined through unrelated t-tests. The results concluded that participants in the opiate misusers condition had higher levels of narcissism and lower levels of family relations than those in the non-opiate misuser condition. However there was no significant difference in both participants' levels of separation anxiety and peer relations. An implication of this study was because it was a quasi-experiment it was too difficult to control for random and constant error and in this way, and therefore the external validity of the study is to some extent limited.