More evidence emerges to support the use of trajectory models with young people. Research by Professor Patrica Conrod targeted young people at risk of early drug and alcohol involvement by coping style. This included four distinct groups of young people that displayed the following patterns and traits:
• Hopelessness: A tendency to unhappiness, depression and feeling a failure, feelings relieved by intoxication.
• Anxiety sensitivity: Fear of anxiety related bodily sensations due to beliefs that such sensations will lead to catastrophic outcomes, for which substance use can represent a form of self-medication.
• Impulsivity: An inability to restrain seeking gratification in the presence of immediate rewards (such as the feelings available through substance use) despite longer term negative consequences.
• Sensation seeking: Desire for intense and novel experiences, which can be expressed as a desire to ‘get high’ through drug taking or heavy drinking.
Interventions were developed specifically to address the coping style of each group in 18 schools, with a 'treatment as usual' being used as a control group. The personality specific interventions demonstrated clincially significant improvements over stranded interventions, with a interesting trickle down effect. To read more on the study click here.