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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Dec 1;133(2):535-40. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.07.022. Epub 2013 Aug 17.

Attitude and risk of substance use in adolescents diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

Author information

1
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address: mariaramosrdguez@yahoo.es.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adolescence is a stage of development with increased risk of drug use. Individual personality traits are among those factors that influence the onset of substance use in adolescence and its psychiatric comorbidity. Little research has been done on the comorbidity between substance abuse risk and Asperger syndrome, and none specifically in adolescence. The objective of this study is to assess the risk of drug use by adolescents with Asperger syndrome and compare it with that risk in control subjects. A secondary objective was to analyze the personality factors that may be associated with substance use in the same two groups.

METHODS:

We used three self-administered questionnaires, one for drug risk assessment (FRIDA) and the other two for personality trait assessment (MACI and SSS-V).

RESULTS:

Adolescents diagnosed with Asperger syndrome are at less risk for drug use derived from family and access to drugs factors. Subjects with Asperger syndrome did score higher on introversive, inhibited, doleful, and borderline tendency prototypes than healthy controls, and scored lower on all sensation-seeking traits. Being male, a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, and unruly, introversive, and sensation-seeking traits were all independently associated with the risk of drug abuse.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both identified personality factors and other variables associated with the Asperger syndrome contribute to the low risk of drug abuse observed in this population. Exploring protective factors for drug use in these subjects may prove useful for interventions with adolescents at risk for consumption.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Asperger; Autism; Personality; Substance use

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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