Category: Addictive Behaviors

Symposium

Do Latent Subtypes Generalize Across Addictions? Examining Alcohol, Gambling, and Food Addiction

Friday, November 17
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Sapphire 410, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Addictive Behaviors | Etiology | Risk / Vulnerability Factors
Presentation Type: Symposium

Conceptualization of addictive disorders distinguishes distinct etiological subtypes, and yet these classification schemes are constrained to specific addictive disorders. For example, within alcohol use disorder two subtypes are generally recognized (i.e., Type A/B; Babor et al., 1992) and three subtypes are recognized for gambling disorder (i.e., behavioral conditioned, emotionally vulnerable, antisocial impulsivist; Blaszczynski & Nower, 2002). The syndrome model of addiction (Shaffer et al., 2004) is transdiagnostic and posits that observable patterns of addictive behaviors are heterogeneous expressions of a singular underlying addiction syndrome. The present study examines if a taxonomy of etiological homogenous groups can be formed incorporating individuals with different addictions: alcohol use disorder, gambling disorder, and food addiction. Participants (N = 111) were adult community members with an alcohol use disorder (n = 35), a gambling disorder (n = 50), or a food addiction (n = 26). Participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires assessing psychosocial factors associated with known etiological groupings of addiction: antisocial behaviors, conduct disordered behaviors, depressive symptoms, negative urgency, positive urgency, sensation seeking, emotion dysregulation, age of addiction onset, and family history of addiction. An exploratory cluster analysis was conducted to determine if the classification schemes can be combined across addictions. Results revealed that individuals across the three addiction disorders clustered into two homogeneous groups with psychosocial profiles that converge with prior literature on subtypes of addiction (i.e., emotionally vulnerable/type A, antisocial impulsivist/type B). Participants from all three addiction groups were observed in the two clusters, and the two clusters did not differ significantly by addiction group membership. Overall, this study provides evidence for syndrome model of addiction, which posits how addiction develops and manifests itself across diverse contexts.

Kevin Wenzel

Loma Linda VA Medical Center

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