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College students' attitudes toward drug addiction: Disease model versus moral model

Posted on:2008-04-05Degree:Psy.DType:Dissertation
University:Indiana University of PennsylvaniaCandidate:Garlitz, Dawn MarieFull Text:PDF
Although it appears that the field of addictions has been moving in the direction of the disease model, research suggests that the moral model continues to be widely held by both laypeople and professionals (Moyers & Miller, 1993; Thombs & Osborn, 2001). However, little research has examined what factors contribute to an individual's belief in either model. Also, previous research in model adherence has paid little attention to how individuals define a disease or the extent to which individuals' attributions vary across drugs (Cirakoglu & Isin, 2005).; The current study explored variables related to adherence to the disease and moral models of drug addiction in college students. Specifically, relationships between students' political beliefs, religiosity, and demographic variables, and adherence to the disease or moral model were examined. This study also sought to identify how people define the term "disease" and the extent to which model adherence differs between various drug addictions.; Two-hundred ninety undergraduate students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania completed a questionnaire. Results of the study showed that students who were more conservative in political beliefs adhered more strongly to the moral model of addiction and students who were more liberal adhered more strongly to disease model beliefs, r = -.16, p < .01. However, no significant correlation was found between students' religiosity and model adherence. As expected, demographic variables, including female gender and greater frequency of cigarette, alcohol, and chewing tobacco use, predicted disease model adherence, R2 = .24, F(35, 245) = 2.24, p = .00.; Furthermore, adherence to the disease model of addictions was correlated with certain beliefs about diseases including, "A disease is a condition of an organism in which the organism suffers either physically or mentally," r = .34, p < .01. As expected, results indicated that students' model adherence varied by drug. Students were more likely to consider addictions to alcohol, cocaine, and heroin to be diseases than addiction to nicotine, F(4, 267) = 3.45, p < .01. This knowledge may be beneficial in combating stigma and other treatment barriers.
Keywords/Search Tags:Model, Addiction, Students, Drug
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