Personality, stress and social support as predictors of dropout from inpatient treatment for cocaine abuse

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Robert McMahon - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution of antisocial, dependent, and avoidant personality styles, life stress, and social support in the prediction of dropout from residential treatment for cocaine abuse. Antisocial and avoidant personality styles and stress were hypothesized to be associated with high levels of treatment dropout, while the dependent personality style and social support were hypothesized to be associated with low levels of treatment dropout. Measures of personality, stress, and social support were collected during an assessment that typically occurred two weeks after entry into residential treatment, but not before detoxification had been completed. The sample (n = 240) was composed of predominantly young black males for whom cocaine was the primary drug of abuse. Dropouts were those who left treatment voluntarily---not due to expulsion, lack of insurance, or inability to pay for treatment.A significant association was found between antisocial personality and treatment dropout. In addition, two covariates (treatment program, marital status) made significant contributions to prediction. Avoidant personality, dependent personality, life stress, and social support were not significantly predictive. The final logistic regression model, although statistically significant, did not make a meaningful contribution to classification of dropout status. Theoretical and clinical implications of study findings are discussed, and directions for future research are presented.


Psychology, Clinical; Psychology, Personality

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