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Addict Behav. 2001 Nov-Dec;26(6):803-25.

The relations of trait anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, and sensation seeking to adolescents' motivations for alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use.

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Department of Philosophy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


The present study investigated relations of anxiety sensitivity and other theoretically relevant personality factors to Copper's [Psychological Assessment 6 (1994) 117.] four categories of substance use motivations as applied to teens' use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. A sample of 508 adolescents (238 females, 270 males; mean age = 15.1 years) completed the Trait subscale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children, the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI), and the Intensity and Novelty subscales of the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking. Users of each substance also completed the Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised (DMQ-R) and/or author-compiled measures for assessing motives for cigarette smoking and marijuana use, respectively. Multiple regression analyses revealed that, in the case of each drug, the block of personality variables predicted "risky" substance use motives (i.e., coping, enhancement, and/or conformity motives) over-and-above demographics. High intensity seeking and low anxiety sensitivity predicted enhancement motives for alcohol use, high anxiety sensitivity predicted conformity motives for alcohol and marijuana use, and high trait anxiety predicted coping motives for alcohol and cigarette use. Moreover, anxiety sensitivity moderated the relation between trait anxiety and coping motives for alcohol and cigarette use: the trait anxiety-coping motives relation was stronger for high, than for low, anxiety sensitive individuals. Implications of the findings for improving substance abuse prevention efforts for youth will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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