Relations between Positive Temperament

Relations between Positive Temperament, Substance Use, and Internalizing Problems among Adolescents and Young Adults with and without Medical Conditions


Research Question

The study aimed to experiment and examine how features of positive temperament are associated with substance and drug abuse and how their relationship levels may differ depending on the medical levels and states (M. Davis et al., 2018).

  1. Statement of the problem

Substance use and abuse has increased among adolescent and young adults (AYA) and has led to the development of risky and uncouth behaviours. Similarly, substance use has deteriorated some medical conditions as most AYAs with preexisting medical conditions use substances. Moreover, health-promoting behaviours are compromised, leading to overdose and body resistance to specific drugs (Daniel et al., 2015). Due to the increase in Substance use by the AYAs, many stressed individuals are entering the development stage of adulthood with many challenges related to self-management and healthcare. As a result, identifying the causes may reduce substance use levels, leading to better mental and physical health for AYAs (Pilarinos et al., 2022). This study focuses on temperament among AYAs by identifying individual-level factors like medical status and medical conditions and the relationship between positive temperament and substance use problems among emerging adults.

  1. Hypotheses

Ha = Positive affect would negatively affect internalizing problems for AYAs who have or do not have a medical condition (M. Davis et al., 2018).

  1. Methods
  2. Research Design

Descriptive research is purely theoretical, describes a situation or a case in depth, and is more generalized. Correlational research design identifies how variables are related by manipulating any of them and reveals the magnitude of the links among the variables. Diagnostic research design investigates the underlying cause of a specific phenomenon by identifying its cause and giving solutions to end it (Patten & Newhart, 2017). Explanatory research design explores a phenomenon that has not been studied or adequately researched. Experimental research design approaches a phenomenon scientifically by using two sets of variables and collecting factual data for inferences (Patten & Newhart, 2017). Therefore, the study applied the Experimental research design as it has a set of variables and collects factual data from a set of samples of a population to establish facts.

  1. Variables

The variables of the study were Adolescent and young adults, medical conditions, substance use, and positive temperament.

  1. Sample

The sample for the research involved 494 AYAs with 73:26 females to male ratio. Three hundred seventy-eight participants were healthy, while the rest 116 had prevailing medical conditions. The sample recruitment was done at a large university in Southern US, where participants had to be enrolled in a psychology class and be at least 18 years old (M. Davis et al., 2018).

  1. Assessment tools

Several assessment tools have been analyzed in the course. Surveys are the most used tools in research, and they include survey questions that guide the study. Similarly, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, and experiments are used for research. However, the study uses questionnaires to capture the intended data for analysis. In the research, the 77-item short form of the Adult Temperament Questionnaire was used as a measure of temperament (ATQ-SF; Evans & Rothbart, 2007). the 10-item Alcohol Use Disorders Identification test was used to assess alcohol use-related problems. The 11-item Drug Use Disorder Identification Test was used to assess drug problems, excluding alcohol. The 21-item Beck Depression Inventory-II was used to measure the severity of depressive symptoms, and the 21-item Beck Anxiety Inventory assessed the severity of anxiety symptoms (BAI; Beck & Steer, 1990).

  1. Results
  2. Results

The multi-group analysis for AYAs with or without medical conditions inferred that high-intensity pleasure positively correlated with drugs and alcohol use. The positive effect is negatively associated with drug use problems and internalizing problems in the healthy group (M. Davis et al., 2018). Participants with medical conditions showed a high intensity of pleasure which was positively associated with alcohol use problems. However, the positive effect was negatively related to internalizing problems. Chi-square tests showed a significant difference among several paths (M. Davis et al., 2018). A deeper analysis of the results indicated that AYAs with a medical condition have a high-intensity pleasure that is positively associated with alcohol, which is different to drug use prevalence. Additionally, they prefer alcohol over other smoking substances.

  1. Strengths and limitations

The research uses a relatively large sample to make the inferences which would yield a lot of originality. As a result, the results will be credible. Further, the results are well analyzed using universally accepted methods of analysis. Nevertheless, the data collection methods are top-notch as they allow the collection of first-hand information through self-assessment of the participants in the sample. However, the results and findings cannot be easily understood and need expertise in the field of psychology and statistics to infer their meaning.


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