Psychometric modeling of abuse and dependence symptoms across six illicit substances indicates novel dimensions of misuse.
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AIMS: This study explored the factor structure of DSM III-R/IV symptoms for substance abuse and dependence across six illicit substance categories in a population-based sample of males. METHOD: DSM III-R/IV drug abuse and dependence symptoms for cannabis, sedatives, stimulants, cocaine, opioids and hallucinogens from 4179 males born 1940-1970 from the population-based Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders were analyzed. Confirmatory factor analyses tested specific hypotheses regarding the latent structure of substance misuse for a comprehensive battery of 13 misuse symptoms measured across six illicit substance categories (78 items). RESULTS: Among the models fit, the latent structure of substance misuse was best represented by a combination of substance-specific factors and misuse symptom-specific factors. We found no support for a general liability factor to illicit substance misuse. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that liability to misuse illicit substances is drug class specific, with little evidence for a general liability factor. Additionally, unique dimensions capturing propensity toward specific misuse symptoms (e.g., tolerance, withdrawal) across substances were identified. While this finding requires independent replication, the possibility of symptom-specific misuse factors, present in multiple substances, raises the prospect of genetic, neurobiological and behavioral predispositions toward distinct, narrowly defined features of drug abuse and dependence.
author list (cited authors)
Clark, S. L., Gillespie, N. A., Adkins, D. E., Kendler, K. S., & Neale, M. C.
complete list of authors
Clark, Shaunna L||Gillespie, Nathan A||Adkins, Daniel E||Kendler, Kenneth S||Neale, Michael C