Risk Factors and Depression in Young Drug Users

Author: Salma Batool

Supervisor: Rukhsana Kausar, PhD

Degree: MS

Year: 2012-2014

University: Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


This study was conducted to examine the risk factors and depression in the young drug users as the drug use is associated with high risk behaviors as well as disorders. The objectives of the study were to examine the association of adolescent drug use and depressive symptoms in drug users, to find out risk factors as predictor of drug use/abuse and to find out the relationship between risk factors and depression in young drug users. The mediating role of drug use between risk factors and depression was also studied. Sample consisted of200 participants ranging in age from 8-25 years (M=23.20, SD= .99). Data were collected from drug addict centers and hospitals in Lahore. The first questionnaires gathered information on socio demographic characteristics, drug use and depressive symptoms. Risk factors were measured by Community that Cares: Youth Survey developed by Arthur (2002). Impulsivity was measured by Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS II, 1995). The data were analyzed using correlation analyses to examine the relationship between risk factors, drug use and depression. An AMOS mediation analysis was used to find out the mediating role of drug use between risk factors and depression and also to find  out  whether  different  risk  factors  predict  drug  use  and  depression.  The  results showed that there was a positive relationship between risk factors: Individual/peer- domain/impulsivity, family domain, and community domain, drug use and depression. Mediation path analysis showed that drug use was a significant mediator between risk factors: Individual/peer domain/impulsivity, family domain, community domain and depression. In the community domain, drug use served as a partial mediator between community neighborhood and depression. It also served as a partial mediator between poor family management, parental attitude favourable towards antisocial behaviour and depression in the family domain risk factors. Drug use was also serving as a partial mediator between friend’s delinquent behaviour, friends use of drugs and depression. This study has implications and strength in that further research in this area will serve to strengthen these findings already established and it also focus on the point that if risk factors are controlled in earlier ages, chances of drug addiction are reduced. Thus it can be concluded that risk factors have a predictive function regarding drug use and abuse.

Keywords: Risk Factors, Depression.

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