THE CUE-RESPONSIVITY PHENOMENON IN DEPENDENT DRINKERS - PERSONALITY VULNERABILITY AND ANXIETY AS INTERVENING VARIABLES

C G MCCUSKER, K BROWN, Chris McCusker

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Abstract

The cue-responsivity phenomenon to alcohol-associated stimuli in dependent drinkers was examined. In accordance with previous research, significant differences on both physiological and subjective cue-responsivity variables, between dependent and non-dependent drinkers were found. The unique contribution of this paper is two-fold. Firstly, evidence is presented which suggests that the Eysenckian personality traits of introversion and neuroticism are more predictive of cue-responsivity variance in the dependent drinkers than either severity of dependence or number of years' drinking. Secondly, within this dependent group, the relationship between cue-responsivity and 'craving' was seen to be less straightforward than traditionally thought. Specifically, it suggested that it was the extent to which autonomic cue-responsivity elicited increases in self-reported anxiety, which predicted most of the variance on the 'craving' variable. Taken together, these results raise the interesting possibility that a personality disposition akin to trait anxiety, and the degree to which cue exposure elicits state anxiety, mediated the relationship between cue-responsivity and 'craving' in dependent drinkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-912
Number of pages8
JournalBritish journal of addiction
Volume86
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1991

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