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Etiological Factors/Psychoanalytic Theory

Etiological Factors/Psychoanalytic Theory Etiology theories have been used to explain drug abuse and delinquent behavior development among young adults. Biological studies like pedigree studies, twin studies and adoption studies have indicated genetic influences of drug abuse. Cognitive factors, internal stressors and mood disorders can lead to delinquent behaviors. Cultural pressures and ego deficiencies and social expectations of drug abuse can lure the young adults to drug abuse.Etiological Factors/Psychoanalytic TheoryIntroduction Etiology refers to the root causes and origins of a certain social problem and the factors that influence the development (Gitlin, 1996). Drug abuse and delinquent behaviors is a complex social problem where genetic and biological factors lead to emergence of drug abuse among young adults. Cognitive factors, behavioral factors, temperament and psychosocial factors and cultural factors also influence the likelihood of adolescents engaging in drug abuse (Scheier, 2010). Available evidence suggests that genetic factors influence drug abuse and delinquent behavior among young adults (Wikler, 614). The pedigree studies compared biological relatives where researchers concluded that likelihood of drug abuse was high among the first degree relatives compared to the general population. The Twin studies compared monozygotic twins where the researchers concluded that monozygotic twins had higher concordance rate of drug abuse and delinquent behavior than Dizygotic twins (Wurmser, 248). According to the adoption studies, adopted infants born by parents who abused drugs had a higher rate of drug abuse and delinquent behavior than adopted children who neither one of their parents had abused drugs. According to the gene-environment interaction (G*E) model assumes a relationship between the genetic and environment factors that increase the likelihood of drug abuse (Wurmser, 254). Mood disorders and internal stressors such as attention deficit disorder, oppositional behaviors and hyperactivity are linked to the risk of developing drug abuse and delinquent behaviors especially among children of parents who abuse drugs (Gitlin, 1996). Young adults who encounter difficulties in emotional control are more prone to development of drug abuse and delinquent behaviors in relation to environmental factors and stressors. Birth trauma, child maltreatment and hypoxia are other risk factors (Scheier, 2010). The findings of the above three studies cited gender differences in genetic risk since the risks are high amongst males than females. However, no sex-linked genes were attributed to drug abuse and delinquent behavior among the young adults (Wikler, 616). The gender differences were attributed to cultural roles and social factors which limit the female exposure to drug abuse and delinquent behaviors. Cultural pressures can influence young adult drug abuse. Family violence creates a mental disorder in the young adults that may lead them to abusing drugs. The behavior of the close family members such as the spouse acts both as antecedents and reinforce of substance use while the ongoing interaction of the adult offspring and the parents will increase drug abuse especially for males (Scheier, 2010). Peer influence affect the young adult’s behaviors, values and attitudes hence negative peer pressure may lead on the drug abuse and delinquent behaviors. Association with deviant peers together with other risk factors such as poor parenting, mental health complications, low self-esteem, anxiety and drug availability increase the chances of drug abuse and maladaptive behaviors. Deviant peer group involvement in drug abuse and delinquent behaviors is high among adolescent boys than girls (Gitlin, 1996). Psychoanalytic theory considers drug abuse and delinquent behavior as a consequence of neuroses that manifest during adolescence. According to cognitive theory, thoughts and beliefs and feelings determine the behavior of an individual (Scheier, 2010). Drug abuse is caused by the interaction of several factors like temperament, psychological and social factors which influence the young adult’s perception of drug abuse as either positive or negative behavior (Wikler, 615). As the drug abuse problem worsens, self-efficacy is rarely used with classical conditioning process increasing the drug craving (Wikler, 613). According to behaviorism/learning theory, drug abuse and delinquent behavior is learned through either the classical or operant conditioning process. The young adult uses classical conditioning to set the time of drug use, the location and the amount of consumption which maintains his initial craving (Wurmser, 240). Operant conditioning process postulates that drug abuse is reinforced since one may abuse drugs in response to antecedent stimulus like anger, anxiety or pain thus an association develops between the reinforcing effects such as anxiety reduction and lessening of the pain or perceived good mood. According to psychoanalytic learning theory, drug abuse and delinquent behavior is viewed as fixation or regression to stages of development (Wurmser, 240). Young adults abuse drugs to escape from intense feelings of fear from the intra-psychic conflicts due to harsh superego (Scheier, 2010). However, some young adults abuse drugs due to self-medicate their ego deficits if they perceive the particular drug is capable of doing medicating the ego deficit (Wurmser, 240). According to social learning theories, young adults abuse the drugs due to positive expectations of the effects of drugs, due to social facilitation and enhanced sexual performance and a feeling of relaxation (Scheier, 2010). Young adults with positive expectations of drug abuse such as reduction in tension, induction of aggression or increased sexual arousal and performance are more likely to abuse the drugs than youths with negative expectations of the effects of drugs (Scheier, 2010). Conclusion Genetic factors indicate high likelihood of drug abuse of the offspring of parents who abuse drugs. Social environment like pressure, poor parenting and family violence are some of the risk factors of drug abuse. Ego deficiency, perceived social expectations like enhanced sexual performance and reduction of tension are other risk factors of delinquent behaviors and drug abuse among the youth. Males are more likely to abuse drugs than females due to the social and cultural roles differences. References:Gitlin, J. (1996). The Psychotherapist’s guide to psychopharmacology. New York. Free Press.Scheier, L. (2010). Handbook of drug use etiology: theory, methods and empirical findings. Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association.Wikler, A. (1973). Dynamics of drug dependence: implication of a conditioning theory for research and treatment, Archives of General psychiatry, 10: 611-616.Wurmser, L. (1984-85). The role of superego conflicts in substance abuse and their treatment. International journal of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. 10: 227-258.