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Developing an Addiction Attitude and Belief Scale For Use with Non-Treatment, Web-Based Populations
AuthorBroadus, Angela D.
AdvisorEvans, William P.
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Using a series of three studies, this project met the objectives to develop an addiction attitudes survey for use in the general population, to test whether there is a universal construct called "addiction" that influences individual attitudes irrespective of the substance or behavior of abuse, and to complete a preliminary analysis of the moderators of addiction attitudes. The final 54-item survey has five subscales representing the five models of addiction theory: Moral Model, Nature Model, Psychological Model, Sociological Model, and Disease Model. These models differ in beliefs about abuse and addiction etiology, rationale for behavior, and prognosis for change. Development of the survey included an inductive, ground-up approach using focus group participants from the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas. It also included a deductive, top-down approach with experts in the fields of survey development, attitudes, and addiction providing input in generating the survey item pool. University students and a sample of Nevada residents tested the draft survey. Further validation and reliability testing is indicated with this instrument, including confirmatory factor analysis with an additional sample. Outcomes for the research question indicated no support for a universal construct called "addiction." Rather, individual attitudes varied based on the substance or behavior of abuse, and differed between abuse and addiction. Further research is indicated to test these findings. Analysis of the moderators of attitudes about addiction suggested that gender, age, education, religious beliefs, and addiction treatment history might be important predictors of attitudes. In addition, some evidence indicated ethnicity and race might predict attitudes about addiction. However, these latter findings were accepted cautiously due to the small sample size.