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Alcohol addiction is a disease associated with unfavorable decision making, in spite of its negative consequences. Impulsivity plays an important role in decision making of alcohol-addicted individuals. It can be understood in terms of behavioral and/or cognitive flexibility disorders, that manifest in cognitive dysfunctions, making quick and adequate situation assessment and adjustment of behavior according to its condition, difficult or even impossible. Neurobiological and genetic studies indicate at the existing relationship between impulsivity and certain genetic predisposition. In alcohol addicts, impulsivity can be understood also in terms of specific personality traits. Although the concept of impulsivity itself, has been the main topic of many studies, not many of them concern also decision-making processes. In studies concerning decision making in alcoholism, the relationship between this processes and behavioral impulsivity defined in many different ways, has been noticed. Some of these works define disturbances in decision-making processes itself, as a feature of impulsivity. On the basis of the results of theoretical works and research studies, it seems that there would be worth to define more precisely the concept of impulsivity, in order to determine its effect on decision making. It would be also worth to assess, whether and to what extent, the two variables (impulsivity and decision making) can be considered as separate.

The study identifies and categorizes concepts of addiction among treated and non-treated former alcohol dependents, and their function in the process of recovery from addiction within the post-communist treatment system dominated by the Minnesota model. This qualitative study is based on a media recruited sample of 29 former alcohol dependents (ICD-10) in Warsaw/Poland 2006/2007. They reported a recovery time of at least 2 years (Mrecovery=11, SD=9). In-depth interviews were analysed according to the Problem-Centred Interview method using Atlas.ti software. The applied triangulation procedures ensure reliability and validity of the data collected and the analysis of the narrative accounts. The results of the study show that professional concepts of addiction reconstructed on the basis of narratives from treated respondents resemble the disease model of addiction. A first category of lay concepts of self-changers adopt a medical-moral model of dependence including strong will as a key element of the successful recovery. A second category describes dependence as a symptom of maladaptive social functioning and recovery as a process of understanding one's role in society and fulfilling social expectations. While self-changers relied on one of these lay concepts, treated respondents were confronted with a conflict between lay and professional definition of dependence. It is argued that lack of recognition of lay concepts of addiction by treatment providers may weaken help-seeking and increase drop-out rates. The disease model implies the stability of the status of the alcoholic - which potentially weakens the individual's chance to reach the stage of stable recovery. © 2011 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved.

Seniow J.,Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology
Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Executive functions refer to a set of higher-level abilities that regulate and control human goal-directed complex behavior. These functions are a central component of the highest level of hierarchical cognitive-behavioral functioning. The theoretical construct of an executive system, its subcomponents, and the variables that measure them are not clearly defined. The term executive function is commonly associated with frontal lobe function, although it is not exclusive to the frontal cortex and extends to other regions of the brain. The executive system includes higher cognitive, behavioral self-regulatory, and metacognitive functions. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Okulicz-Kozaryn K.,Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology
Health Education Research | Year: 2010

According to the power-control theory, growing independence of adolescent girls, manifest in more prevalent problem behaviors, may be explained by changes in family structure (increasing level of authority gained in the workplace by mothers). To verify this hypothesis, self-report data from Warsaw adolescents (N = 3087, age 14-15 years, 50% boys) were used. Results indicate that parenting practices differ across child gender and structure of parents' work authority. Girls, especially in patriarchal households, spend more time with mothers and perceive stronger maternal control. In egalitarian families, fathers tend to be more involved with sons than with daughters. When parental control, support and adolescents' risk preferences are controlled, the gender-by-household type interaction effect is observed - girls in patriarchal families have the lowest risk of getting drunk. Study results provide support for power-control theory showing the relationship between parental work authority and adolescent's heavy alcohol use. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Prot K.,Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology
Journal of Loss and Trauma | Year: 2010

Participants in this study were Jewish Holocaust survivors (N = 89) divided into groups depending on the type of trauma they had experienced. As compared to the control group, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were clearly more persistent in the trauma group. The most salient PTSD symptoms (primarily avoidance and increased arousal) were noted in those who survived hiding on the "Aryan side." Men were more at risk for reexperiencing trauma than women, who were more prone to avoidance or numbing of general responsiveness. The study confirms hypotheses regarding negative effects of early trauma exposure. The results show that particular PTSD dimensions are interrelated; namely, there is a highly significant correlation between avoidance and reexperiencing trauma on one hand and increased arousal on the other. No relationship was found between PTSD severity and either prewar personality traits or prewar social experiences. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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