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Psychol Addict Behav. 2009 Jun;23(2):341-7. doi: 10.1037/a0015260.

Family conflict and depression in HIV-negative heterosexuals: the role of methamphetamine use.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0680, USA.


Previous research has reported elevated levels of depressive symptoms among methamphetamine users, but little attention has been paid to possible links between family environment and psychological distress. This study examined relationships between family conflict, substance use, and depressive symptoms in a sample of 104 heterosexual methamphetamine users in San Diego, California. Eighty-nine percent of the sample reported conflict with a family member in the past year. Conflict was reported most often with parents and siblings. Sources of conflict included drug use, lifestyle issues, interpersonal and communication issues, and concern for other family members. In regression analyses, being female, being a polydrug user, and facing social and legal stressors were associated with higher levels of family conflict. Multiple regression analyses also revealed a positive association between family conflict and depressive symptoms. Contrary to expectation, methamphetamine dose did not moderate the relationship between family conflict and depressive symptoms. Reducing family conflict may be an important first step toward ameliorating depressive symptoms and creating more supportive environments for methamphetamine users who are in urgent need of effective interventions.

Copyright (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

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