Gender differences in alcohol and substance use relapse

Research Institute on Addictions/University at Buffalo, 1021 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14203, United States.
Clinical Psychology Review (Impact Factor: 7.18). 04/2006; 26(2):128-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2005.11.003
Source: PubMed


This review explores gender differences in relapse and characteristics of relapse events in alcohol and substance use. For alcohol, relapse rates were similar across gender. Although negative mood, childhood sexual abuse, alcohol-related self-efficacy, and poorer coping strategies predicted alcohol relapse, gender did not moderate these effects. Gender did moderate the association between marriage and alcohol relapse. For women, marriage and marital stress were risk factors for alcohol relapse; among men, marriage lowered relapse risk. This gender difference in the role of marriage in relapse may be a result of partner differences in problem drinking. Alcoholic women are more likely to be married to heavy drinking partners than are alcoholic men; thus, alcoholic women may be put at risk of relapse by marriage and alcoholic men may be protected by marriage. There are fewer studies documenting gender differences in substance abuse relapse so conclusions are limited and tentative. In contrast to the lack of gender differences in alcohol relapse rates, women appear less likely to experience relapse to substance use, relative to men. Women relapsing to substance use appear to be more sensitive to negative affect and interpersonal problems. Men, in contrast, may be more likely to have positive experiences prior to relapse.

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    • "Thus, beliefs about one's ability to perform specific coping behaviors, or CSE, would be anticipated to influence the outcomes of interventions designed to advance coping. Strong evidence is available that confirmed self-confidence in avoiding substance use in high-risk situations is a supporting key factor in reducing substance use risks (Haaga et al., 2006; PM et al., 1995; Sitharthan & Kavanagh, 1990; Walitzer & Dearing, 2006). These findings support the notion that it is important to measure CSE related to substance use. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This study was aimed to investigate interrelationships between the self-efficacy and coping skill in relation to substance use behavior in adolescent. Method: A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 720 girls and boys, aged between 14 and 18, involved in the cross-sectional study in Iran. In the first step, first-order measurement models were examined to assess how well the observed measures could reflect the latent constructs and in the second step, the structural component consisting of relationships between the latent factors was examined to determine the theoretical factors of the coping and self-efficacy predicted substance use behavior, as hypothesized. Result: The results of the first step revealed stable assessment of four confirmed factors in the first-order measurement model. In second step, the structural model of coping and self-efficacy showed an acceptable adequacy in predicting substance use behavior in the second-order model. Direct and indirect path analysis demonstrated that relationship between refusal self-efficacy and substance use would be mediated by the coping skill, and this relationship could significantly predict substance use behavior in our study. Conclusion: The results of our hypothesized model of coping self-efficacy (CSE) had an acceptable adequacy in predicting substance use behavior in adolescents.
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    • "This can potentially be explained by the findings of other researchers that psychoactive substances cause more severe mental health complications in women (Hernandez-Avila et al., 2004), that SUD women have a tendency to mention external problems underestimating internal problems (Plant et al., 2009), that female alcohol addicts are more often diagnosed with depressive mood (Walter et al., 2003) and that female SUD are characterized by more rapid cerebral atrophy development (Hommer et al., 2001; Mann et al., 2005; Maurage et al., 2008). Furthermore, the fact that SUD women are more often married with addictive and aggressive partners (Witkiewitz, 2005; Walitzer, Dearing, 2006), namely, persons with more severe psychosocial functioning impairments in terms of emotional and social performance, can point to more severe psychosocial functioning impairments of SUD women themselves. However, further research is required to find out the reasons for gender differences in the changes of indicators. "
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    • "Importantly, it has been suggested that these emotional decoding impairments might influence social interactions and participate in the maintenance of the pathological state (Walitzer and Dearing, 2006). Indeed, as the development and preservation of adapted social communication is largely based on the ability to correctly express one's own emotional states and to accurately perceive (and react to) those expressed by others (Feldman et al., 1991), the emotional deficits might give rise to impaired interpersonal interactions and could increase the social problems frequently observed in alcohol-dependence. "
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