Relationship of Aggression, Sensation Seeking, and Impulsivity, with Severity of Cocaine Use


Journal Article

We investigated whether pretreatment measures of sensation seeking, impulsivity, and aggression were related to severity of cocaine use. Assessments of sensation seeking (SSS), impulsivity (BIS), and aggression (BDHI) were obtained for 140 African-American cocaine-dependent individuals entering outpatient treatment. We explored whether these variables were associated with addiction severity measures including quantity, frequency, and duration of cocaine use, scores on the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), and the admision urine drug screen status. A significant positive association was found between the total BDHI score and duration and frequency of cocaine use. Furthermore, SSS scores showed a significant positive correlation with frequency of cocaine use and cocaine positive admission urines. The BIS scores were significantly associated with 2 of the 7 ASI scales. Multiple regression analyses showed that the 3 measures contributed significantly toward predicting severity of cocaine use, but the contribution to the overall variance was modest. Measures of aggression and sensation seeking seem to be of clinical value in the assessment of cocaine abusers. However, these measures may need to be combined with other clinical and behavioral variables to accurately predict the severity of cocaine use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Murray, HW; Patkar, AA; Mannelli, P; DeMaria, P; Desai, AM; Vergare, MJ

Published Date

  • December 16, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 113 - 121

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1531-5754

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00132576-200302040-00002

Citation Source

  • Scopus