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Br J Addict. 1992 Feb;87(2):245-50.

Motivation to withdraw from heroin: a factor-analytic study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, UK.


A 30-item motivation scale and a locus of control scale were given to 165 heroin users within the first 2 days of a new attempt to withdraw from heroin. Factor analysis of the motivation items revealed three factors, the largest of which was labelled 'private affairs motivation' (factor one), and accounted for 26.5% of the variance. A significant positive correlation was found between scores on this factor and the I sub-scale for locus of control. The other two factors were labelled 'external constraints' (7.2% of the variance) and 'negative effects of heroin use' (6.6% of the variance). There was a tendency for subjects attending community drug teams to have lower scores on these factors than those attending other types of agencies, especially in-patient detoxification wards. Further research is required to examine the relationship between the different motivations to withdraw from heroin and other important variables such as withdrawal outcome.

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