Detachment

Impact of Emotional Detatchment & Developing Substance Use Disorders

Article Reviews

Overview

            One recent study focused on the impact of emotional detachment and peer pressure in the development of Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). This study utilized these precursors to explain susceptibility to substance abuse (Gallegos et al., 2021). The study collected 5792 adolescents throughout seven semesters of high school and surveyed the participants to determine their first age of substance use.  Their initial substance use was compared to both initial detachment from parents, as well as peer pressure.  The study also looked to find any correlation between first substance use and later, illicit substance abuse (2021).

Methods

            The data collection from high school students was spread across 4 years of school (Gallegos et al., 2021).  A latent growth curve model was utilized in examining how the first age of substance use led to later substance use (and the development of SUDs).  Additionally, this model was used to determine the likelihood of additional, later illicit substance use after the participant’s first use of a substance.  These variables were also compared to a student participant’s perceived sense of emotional detachment (2021).

Discussion and Results

            This study found that the earlier the age of first, reported substance use meant a higher likelihood of future substance abuse (Gallegos et al., 2021). Initial substances found to meet this measure included alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.  Heavier emotional detachment scores were also associated with greater likelihood to use illicit substances (2021). Ultimately, both emotional detachment and peer pressure, both critical facets of social cognition, were found to heavily contribute to the development of Substance Use Disorders.

Peer Pressure and Substance Misuse

Overview

Peer Pressure

            A study on peers was conducted to determine the effects of even discussing substance misuse amongst friends. This study investigated how substance use is topicalized in naturally occurring conversation, presenting an analysis of video-recorded interactions between university peers (Pillet-Shore, 2021). The participant of this study was American, and volunteered information about their own substance misuse. The study follows the participant as she divulges numerous stories and information about her experimentation with multiple substances.

Methods

            Although only one participant was involved in this study (Pillet-Shore, 2021), the study is relevant for its immense data collection and potential analysis. The study utilized procedure, framework, and body of literature which can be traced to interdisciplinary field of conversation analysis (also known as CA).  This is a method founded in data based upon direct observation of naturally occurring situations conducted through video or audio recordings. The student participant was able to select their own setting for the video and allowed an opportunity for the conversation to naturally occur. The author of the study then analyzed the video to find a focal episode where sustained conversation about the topic of substance misuse prevalently existed.

Discussion and Results

            This firsthand experience is considered rare for casual conversation. The results of this study indicate the importance of peer conversation in the investigation of the formation of SUDs. The results suggest that ingroup relationships may further promote the use of alcohol, while also imposing preventative measures on other group member’s engaging in substance misuse (Pillet-Shore, 2021). The study analyzes an individual’s ability to introduce substances to their peers without diminishing its significance as a perceived negative behavior or habit. The study is valuable in terms of insight as to how destigmatized information about substance misuse can contribute to further exploration of other substances, and ultimately how the pattern can develop into Substance Use Disorders.

Peer Pressure in Adolescents and Substance Abuse

Overview

            A study recently investigated the role peer pressure has over adolescents in terms of partaking in substance abuse.  This study focused on the relational risk factors of peer pressure in developing SUDs (Kaur et al., 2022). The sample size consisted of 300 participants aged 18 to 19 years old from various school districts in India. The sample was screened to identify participants who suffered from Substance Use Disorders. Parental monitoring and peer pressure were administering factors. The study defined substance abuse as the regular use of any substance which altered the functioning of the participant physically, emotionally, or mentally (2022).

Methods

            The study examined the collected data from 300 qualified subjects gathered from various schools and colleges (Kaur et al., 2022). They were given the Alcohol Smoking and Substance Abuse Involvement Screening Test, and those participants ranging above a threshold score of at least +3 for a variety of substances were used in the study.  These substances included alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, inhalants, sedatives, hallucinogens, opioids, and others. A special variant score of +10 was considered for alcohol only. Participants were questioned in terms of their exposure to peer pressure and their perceived level of parental monitoring (2022).

Discussion and Results

            The results of this study were analyzed using a Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis (Kaur et al., 2022).  Peer pressure was found to be a significant influence over the use of substances and substance abuse.  Peer pressure was also proven to be the strongest predictor resulting in positive substance abuse. In fact, peer pressure resulted in 62 percent of the responding participant’s substance abuse, while only parental monitoring contributed only 4 percent (2022). This study successfully outlined how impactful peer pressure can be in the development of SUDs in adolescents.

Mixed-Methods Study of Peers and Substance Abuse

Overview

Addiction and Abuse

            A recent study outlined the many roles that peers can play in the development or abstinence from substance abuse.  This mixed-methods study focused on high school adolescents in their substance abuse recovery stage to analyze how peer pressure can be a seductive or preventative source of motivation in terms of substance use (Shrand et al., 2021). The study focused on both alcohol and drugs. The participant pool included students from 5 school districts participating in DST research.

Methods

            The surveys in this study were anonymous and conducted before and after attending a substance abuse treatment plan (Shrand et al., 2021). The survey was posed as a questionnaire addressing five questions which analyzed mean improvement range and changes on ten independent items addressing the perceived risks of substance use. The study utilized iterative thematic analysis to develop an alliterative model spanning across two domains: participants and treatment program. Two separate DST shows were given as a part of the program to educate participants on the dangers of substances and addictions (2021).

Discussion and Results

            The participants of this study displayed in increased knowledge of substance addiction and substance misuse after treatment (Shrand et al., 2021).  The results indicate that the participants were more likely to consider alcohol and drugs as addictive (2021). It is important that the study focused on both the participant and the treatment program, as it helps researchers better understand the maturity of a recovering addict’s perspective on Substance Use Disorders and its relevant etiological factors. The study could also encourage derivative work which outlines the long-term effects of these programs in terms of preventing substance misuse and the development of SUDs.

Social Acceptance and Substance Abuse

Overview

            Another study analyzed the effects of negative social interactions and experiences in the formation of heavy substance use amongst the military population.  This study focused on individuals from the United States Army and National Guard, which was considered a high-risk group (Hoopsick et al., 2020). The study analyzed potential differences in the collected data with deployment history in mind. The study’s goal was to examine the baseline problems with social acceptance and social victimization on the abuse of prescription drugs, use of illicit drugs, and frequent or heavy drinking (2020).

Methods

            The participants were recruited from 47 units across the state of New York between the years of 2014 and 2015 (Hoopsick et al., 2020). The participant pool included both active duty military individuals in the U.S. Army or National Guard, as well as their partners, provided the partners were married or living together. Both partners had to suggest they have had at least one alcoholic beverage within the last year. A total of 485 participants were included in the initial survey, and 445 participants were included in the follow up survey the following year. The participants completed three online surveys total with a HIPAA-compliant surveying program allowing for data encryption. Participants were also compensated with a a total of $400 per couple over the survey period. The survey itself utilized a five-item Social Acceptability and four-item Social Victimization scale within the confines of the Survey of Recent Life Experiences (SRLE).  Some of the questions asked participants to indicate if they had been socially rejected, socially isolated, ignored, taken for granted, or having contributions overlooked (2020).

Discussion and Results

Although significant effects were smaller in magnitude, they were considered consistent (Hoopsick et al., 2020). No differences were found between participants with varying deployment history. Only small differences were found between the concepts of social acceptance and social victimization, and there may be an insinuation that a lot of the substance misuse in participants had to do with the general population’s perceptions of their deployment experiences (2020).  This study outlines the potential negative effects of outgroup peer pressure in terms of an individual developing SUDs. The data may be more useful when considering the broader, generalized implications which may accompany the results.  These implications could possibly be applied to a variety of group settings and their perceived risk of developing substance use reliance.

Peer Pressure Amongst Friends and Substance Use

Overview

            Recent research has shown that friends can exert significant influence over the development of alcohol and marijuana use amongst adolescents (Tsakpinoglou & Poulin, 2017).  One study even highlights the power closer friends have, as it conducted an analysis between groups of best friends.  This study outlined the two most important mechanisms which occur between friends that can create this phenomena, friend pressure and unsupervised co-deviancy. It addresses the two mentioned mechanisms and their potential impact on substance use. The study analyzed the best friendships of 294 Canadian youths with 62 percent being female and 38 percent male to find a correlation between these variables and substance use.

Methods

            The research project is considered a longitudinal study conducted in 2001 involving 390 sixth grade students recruited from schools in Quebec, Canada (Tsakpinoglou & Poulin, 2017). The mean family income of the participants was roughly $50,000 CAD. The first point of data collection was when participants were in Grade 9 (roughly 15 years old), and the second point in time was one year later in Grade 10. Chi-square tests were conducted to detect differences in the data, as well as any disparity between genders. Parents were required to sign a written consent form in order for participants to partake in the surveys. The surveys themselves were conducted via phone interview and corresponding questionnaire (2017).

Discussion and Results

            Although there was a mix of friend pressure and unsupervised co-deviancy elements in this study, the results indicate that the closer the friendship the more profound the influence of the relationship (Tsakpinoglou & Poulin, 2017). Friendships were confirmed to be a significant influence in terms of developing SUDs. It was also found that unsupervised co-deviancy posed a large risk for adolescent substance use.  This is especially true in mid-adolescence (2017). Ultimately, this study further confirmed the importance friendships had over the likelihood an adolescent would partake in substance use. This data could be valuable in determining the probability of an adolescent individual developing SUDs later in life.

Comparative Peer Pressure, “Fitting In,” and Substance Use

Overview

Fitting In

            One study assessed the elements of self-descriptions, self-perceptions, perceived substance use of friends, and actual substance use to determine any correlations with substance abuse risk. This study was conducted on high school females’ frequency of making social comparisons to their peers (Merianos et al., 2021). While many studies exist which analyze peer pressure on adolescent likelihood of developing substance abuse problems, fewer studies breakdown this pressure to a focus on self-identity and one’s perceived value within a group or community. The purpose of this study is to better understand how an adolescent’s perception of themselves compared to their peers impacts their susceptibility to developing Substance Use Disorders and partaking in substance use.

Methods

            The study collected and analyzed data provided by the Adolescent Health Risk Behavior Survey (Merianos et al., 2021).  This data included 357 high school girls and utilized multinomial logistic regression. The survey asked participants to self-report their feelings of social comparisons. The questions were asked with an answer scale which ranged from “never or rarely” to “often or always.” Some of the questions focused on whether the participant felt attractive, felt forced to imitate their peers, whether they were the person they’d like to be, or whether they felt “self-centered” (2021).

Discussion and Results

            Female high school students in the study who perceived and described themselves from more negative light were shown to be at increased risk for making social comparisons to peers (Merianos et al., 2021). Ultimately, this left these participants at a greater risk to developing substance use problems (2021). This may be due to the collaboration of personal, social, and academic pressures of high school.  It may also be due to the pressures of emerging adulthood, or the developing process of the brain. Regardless, the study proves that this phenomena of comparing oneself to their peers can greatly contribute to personality and behavior changes, including engaging in substance use.

The Social Cognition Behind Mental Illness Stigma

Overview

            The purpose of one study was to detect trends in public stigma surrounding mental illness (Pescosolido et al., 2021).  The authors suggest that the stigma surrounding mental illness has persisted in recent years.  The study itself included 4129 adult participants who were surveyed to determine their belief systems in what causes certain mental illnesses.  The study also outlined the number of mental illness cases between generations. The author’s postulate that the stigma would reduce in recent years, although still be present.  The variables outlined include public beliefs about the causes of mental illnesses, the rejection of acceptance of illnesses, and age. (2021).

Methods

            This study analyzed data collected form the U.S. National Stigma Studies using the 2018 General Social Survey modules (Pescosolido et al., 2021). The collection technique was multistage sampling, performed face-to-face. The resulting data also used a General Social Survey (GSS) cluster-sampling model from the U.S. National Stigma Study. This data collection combination was extremely desirable, providing a trustworthy, viable collection that accurately addressed the study question.

Discussion and Results

            Although most of the effects tested resulted in minimal change, there were significant changes between generations in terms of the acceptance of mental illnesses (Pescosolido et al., 2021).  More public endorsement of these conditions became prevalent, which led to improved treatment plans (2021). Still, the stigma is undoubtedly present. This study and its results are relevant because SUDs is a mental illness, and the rejection of its core, contributing factors, as well as its existence altogether, insinuate it may be harder to detect early on, as well as treat.

Ingroup Favoritism & Peer Pressure

Overview

            One recent study investigated trends found within ingroup favoritism and peer pressure. This study analyzed the normative roots of ingroup favoritism and personal morals (Iacoviello & Spears, 2018). The study focused on determining the likelihood of an individual to feel prone to promoting ingroup values and favoritisms, while also analyzing when these values and favoritisms are expected and formed. The study analyzed the relationship between the aforementioned norm perceptions and a participant’s natural desire for ingroup favoritism. In other words, how does ingroup favoritism affect a group participant’s innate desire to develop favoritism towards group policies and group members (2018).

Methods

Case Study

            The methodology of this study attempted to quantify participant attitudes towards ingroup favoritism (Iacoviello & Spears, 2018). American participants were gathered via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and the participants were compensated for their time with .30 cents. 110 sample participants were included in this study, 58 women and 52 men. The participants were randomly assigned to either ingroup or external entities. The variables analyzed included valorization of conformity, need to belong, “groupiness,” and identification within the group (in this case, the United States). The participants were presented with questions with a scale under standard instructions (providing their perceived attitude towards ingroup favoritism) and then answered the same scale-based questions using self-enhancement instructions and self-depreciation instructions.

Discussion and Results

            The results indicated that ingroup norm is perceived as promoting ingroup favoritism (Iacoviello & Spears, 2018).  The results also indicated that those outside of the group perceived ingroup favoritism form within the group.  Depending upon demographic variables, these results were more polarized, especially older people.  The study accounts this polarized variance to older people better understanding social interactions and what various entities expect of them. Ultimately, the study found that ingroup members tend to adjust their bias in accordance to group expectations.  This study is important in its more generalized applications, such as what a group condoning regular substance use expects of its members.

A Study Analyzing Parenting Styles and the Development of SUDs

Overview

            One critical study analyzed the relationship between parenting styles and the development of SUDs (Abikoye et al., 2014). This study outlined how university students adapted to peer pressure based upon how they were raised. This was a cross-sectional study on four hundred and fifty-two participants, nearly 50 percent male and 50 percent female. This study surveyed participants who self-reported their substance experimentation and use with substances including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, sedatives, and heroin. The study also analyzed how various parenting styles impacted a participant’s likelihood of experimenting with substances, especially authoritative parenting (2014).

Methods

            The study included a cross-sectional survey, which relied upon the ex post facto design, leaving the variables largely inactively manipulated by the study researchers (Abikoye et al., 2014). Data collection involved a structured, validated, questionnaire, and the data is considered self-reported. A “parenting care scale” was established in order to assess participant responses. This scale was developed to establish the dominant parenting style experienced by each participant.

Discussion and Results

            Roughly 49 percent of all university student participants reported some substance use during their time at university (Abikoye et al., 2014). Alcohol was the most prevalently reported substance used by the participants at about 43 percent, closely followed by tobacco at about 38 percent. Illicit substances followed, along with prescription narcotics. Ultimately, while this research did investigate a variety of parenting styles, the study found that authoritative parenting led to a higher susceptibility to peer pressure in terms of substance use and the development of SUDs (2014). It is important to note that parenting style was subjective to self-reporting, which means participants may have miscategorized their relationship with their parents under a misperception of many sorts.

References

Abikoye, G., Sholarin, A., and Adekoya, J., (2014). Parenting styles and peer-pressure as predictors of substance abuse among university students. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, 3(2), 55-59. DOI: 10.11648/j.pbs.20140302.14

Gallegos, M., Zaring-Hinkle, B., Wang, N., and Bray, J., (2021). Detachment, peer pressure, and age of first substance use as gateways to later substance use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 218. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108352

Hoopsick, R., Vest, B., Homish, L., and Homish, G., (2020). Problems with social acceptance and social victimization predict substance use among U.S. Reserve/Guard soldiers. Stress & Health, 36(3), 311-321. DOI: https://doi-org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.1002/smi.2934

Iacoviello, V., and Spears, R., (2018). “I know you expect me to favor my ingroup”: Reviving Tajfel’s original hypothesis on the generic norm explanation of ingroup favoritism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 76, 88-99. DOI: https://doi-org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.1016/j.jesp.2018.01.002

Kaur, P., Sokhey, G., and Sharma, N., (2022). Role of Relational Risk Factors in Substance Abuse among Adolescents. Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing, 13(1), 53-56. Retrieved from: http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fscholarlyjournals%2Frole-relational-risk-factors-substance-abuse%2Fdocview%2F2651840996%2Fse-2%3Faccountid%3D12085

Merianos, A., Mahabee-Gittens, M., Jacobs, W., Oloruntodba, O., Barry, A., and Smith, M., (2021). Self-Perceptions, Normative Beliefs, and Substance Use Associated With High School Girls Comparing Themselves to Peers. Journal of School Health, 91(6), 482-489. DOI: https://doi-org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.1111/josh.13024

Pescosolido, B., Halpern-Manners, A., Luo, L., and Perry, B., (2021). Trends in Public Stigma of Mental Illness in the US, 1996-2018, JAMA Netw Open, 4(12). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.40202

Pillet-Shore, D., (2021). Peer Conversation About Substance Misuse. Sociology of Health & Illness, 43(3), 732-749. DOI: https://doi-org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.1111/1467-9566.13250

Shrand, J., Digiovanni, M., Lee, D., Kishore, A., and Martin, A., (2021). Drug Story Theater: A Mixed-Methods Study of a Peer-to-Peer Approach to Substance Abuse Education. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 8(4), 281-293. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.8.4.1

Tsakpinoglou, F., and Poulin, F., (2017). Best friends’ interactions and substance use: The role of friend pressure and unsupervised co-deviancy. Journal of Adolescence, 60(1), 74-82. DOI: https://doi-org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.07.005

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