Characteristics of abstainers from substance use and antisocial behavior in the United States

Michael G. Vaughn, Qiang Fu, Stephen J. Wernet, Matt DeLisi, Kevin M. Beaver, Brian E. Perron, Matthew O. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Whether lifetime abstainer's antisocial behavior is maladjusted or well-adjusted is unresolved. The aim of this study was to compare abstainers (defined as persons with no lifetime use of alcohol and other drugs and non-engagement in antisocial or delinquent behavior) with non-abstainers across a range of sociodemographic and mental health characteristics in the United States. Methods: Data were derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Structured psychiatric interviews (N = 43,093) using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule - DSM-IV version (AUDADIS-IV) were completed by trained lay interviewers between 2001 and 2002. Results: The prevalence of abstaining was 11 percent. Abstainers were significantly more likely to be female, Asian and African-American, born outside the U.S., and less likely to be unemployed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that abstainers were significantly less likely to evidence lifetime mood, anxiety, or personality disorder compared to non-abstainers. Conclusions: Findings indicate that abstainers are not maladapted and are comparatively more functional than non-abstainers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NESARC was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism with additional support provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse . The authors are grateful for support from NIH grants: DA021405 (Dr. Howard), K07CA104119 (Dr. Fu), P50 HD052117 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health and Human Development, the Greater Texas Foundation and the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin. The contents of the article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institutes of Health.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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