Risk Factors in the Relationship Between Gender and Crack/Cocaine

C. W. Lejuez, Marina A. Bornovalova, Elizabeth K. Reynolds, Stacey B. Daughters, John J. Curtin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Female inner-city substance users evidence greater crack/cocaine use and are more likely to be dependent on this drug than on any other drug. Additionally, female inner-city substance users evidence greater crack/cocaine use and are more likely to be dependent on this drug than their male counterparts, despite no consistent difference demonstrated in use and dependence across other drugs. Because no published work has empirically examined the factors underlying this link between females and crack/cocaine, the current study examined the role of theoretically relevant personality and environmental variables. Among 152 (37% female) individuals in a residential substance-use treatment program, females evidenced greater use of crack/cocaine (current and lifetime heaviest) and were significantly more likely to evidence crack/cocaine dependence than their male counterparts. In contrast, no gender differences were found for any other substance across alcohol, cannabis, and hallucinogens (including PCP). Surprisingly, females were more impulsive than their male counterparts, with impulsivity serving as a risk factor in the relationship between gender and crack/cocaine dependence and lifetime heaviest use. Females also evidenced higher levels of negative emotionality and childhood abuse, but neither variable served as a risk factor in the relationship between gender and crack/cocaine dependence or use. Limitations and future directions are discussed, including the need for further exploration of impulsivity across its various dimensions as well as the inclusion of additional variables such as social context variables to account more fully for this complex link between gender and crack/cocaine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental and clinical psychopharmacology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • crack/cocaine
  • drug choice
  • gender
  • impulsivity
  • residential treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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