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Criminogenic personality and behavioral characteristics in substance abusers: An examination of the lifestyle model of substance abuse

Richard D Soto, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Walters proposed a Lifestyle Model of Substance Abuse that encompasses criminogenic thought processes and behaviors, personality attributes, and negative influences by family and peers. Factors relevant to the lifestyle model were studied with 202 participants incarcerated in a state correctional facility. The participants were categorized according to their index offense and substance abuse use prior to incarceration. Three groups were identified as chronic substance abusers (FSU), history of substance abuse (HSU), and no history of substance abuse (NSU). Participants completed a comprehensive assessment that included the Personality Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) and the MMPI-2, along with the collection of information about past criminal behavior and psychosocial factors (e.g., parental alcoholism/drug use, parental divorce, etc.). Results using MANOVA supported research hypotheses that the FSU group had significantly higher mean differences than the HSU group on the PICTS Superoptimism and Sentimentality Scales. The FSU group also had significantly higher mean differences than the NSU group on the Addiction Acknowledgment and MAC-R Scales in support of hypotheses. Hypotheses were not supported for differences between the three groups on the PICTS Cutoff, Mollification, Power Orientation, and Discontinuity Scales, as well as the MMPI-2 Psychopathic Deviate, Depression, and Addiction Potential Scales. Furthermore, four linear discriminant function analyses were conducted. In support of research hypotheses, the FSU, HSU, and NSU groups were significantly differentiated by the substance related MMPI-2 Scales, psychosocial variables, and criminogenic behaviors. Cognitions as measured by the PICTS did not reliably differentiate between the FSU, HSU, and NSU groups and did not support the hypothesis. A LDF with 14 variables including MMPI-2 Scales, PICTS Scales, and substance abuse behavior for the participant and family members significantly differentiated between the three groups and correctly re-classified the FSU, HSU, and NSU groups at 55%, 57%, and 75% respectively. Overall, re-classification was 62% for the participants. Implications for clinical assessment and treatment with substance abusers and future areas of research with the PICTS are discussed.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Soto, Richard D, "Criminogenic personality and behavioral characteristics in substance abusers: An examination of the lifestyle model of substance abuse" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3275070.