An Examination of the Influence of Family Drug use in Childhood's has on Subsequent Drug Attitudes and Dependency amongst Adults

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Almefjord-Boylan, Ida
Issue Date
MA in Addiction Studies
Dublin Business School
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Based on social learning theory (Bandura, 1977) it is argued that children tend to model their style of substance use and attitudes on their parents (Heather & Roberts, 1997). Conversely, the aversion theory suggest that children brought up with substance abusing parents pair substance use with strong negative attitudes, leading them not reproducing the styles and behaviours of their parents (parents (Harburg, DiFranceisco, Webster, Gleibennan,, & Schork, 1990). Children's attitudes towards substance use is important considering this is a major factor in determining initiation, amount and reason for substance use (Wong, Tang, & Schwarzer, 1997). This questionnaire study had 60 participants aged, 22 - 45. It was hypothesised that it would be a difference in attitudes towards substance abuse among substance abusers whose parents have addictions and whose parents do not. It was also hypothesised that substance abusers with a family addiction background, would have a different substance dependency than their dependent family member. The implications and contributions of this study are to find predictors to substance abuse and to be able to identify children at risk for substance abuse. The conclusion of this study showed that based on only family addiction there was no significant difference in the participant's total attitudes towards substance use. However, there was a difference in the substance used between the dependent participant and their dependent parents substance use. For future research it might be beneficial to include other kind of addiction apart from substance abuse, e.g. gambling or sex abuse.