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

Publication Abstract

Vaughn, Michael G., Qiang Fu, Stephen J. Wernet, Matt DeLisi, Kevin M. Beaver, Brian E. Perron, and Matthew O. Howard. 2011. "Characteristics of abstainers from substance use and antisocial behavior in the United States." Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(3): 212-217.

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.

DOI:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2011.02.003 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3431907. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States of America.

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