British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 24 Issue 2 (May 1985), Pages 73-144

The addiction experience as a function of the addict's history (pages 73-82)

Application of personal construct theory to addicts in treatment led to a series of hypotheses about their psychological reactions and how these reactions might differ with differences in their histories. Their scores on a set of content analysis scales were compared with those of a relatively non‐stressed group and a relatively stressed group matched for sex and age. The chief element in the pattern of experiential elements which was identified was uncertainty. Addicts also expressed more anxiety, depression and anger (directly and indirectly) and reported fewer social interactions than the non‐stressed group; however, for most of these elements they were similar to the similarly stressed group of young people with whom they were compared. The pattern of experience of addiction was found to vary according to the employment, addiction and criminal histories of the addicts, their treatment histories as represented by their counsellors' assessments of them and the social supports available to them.

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