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Title: Development of an identity-based theory of substance-using behaviour
Author: Bradshaw, C. A.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2006
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The incidence of illicit drug use in the UK has increased dramatically over the last twenty years, to the extent that some researchers are now discussing the phenomenon in terms of a ‘normalisation’ of drug use. Boundaries of age, gender, class and ethnicity, which once typified drug users in the UK no longer apply. As well as the rise in numbers of people using drugs and the frequency with which drugs are used, drug-use habits have changed considerably. Polydrug use is now commonplace, with users of single illicit substances now in the minority. Traditional perspectives equating drug use with drug abuse are becoming increasingly inappropriate in the current drugs climate and updated theories of recreational drug use are necessary for advancement in the field. The research was initially aimed at undertaking a qualitative exploration of the self-reported alcohol and illicit drug-use practices of a small sample of users, with the intention of developing a model of drug use based on the attitudes held by the group towards their practices. The model that emerged from the data emphasised the importance of identity, context and experience of use in drug use progression, with particular emphasis on identity, and was accordingly labelled the ICE model of drug use. Subsequent studies were aimed at empirically testing the assumptions of the ICE model, with primary focus on the identity factor, in samples of alcohol and illicit drug users. The results concerning the use of alcohol and ecstasy provided reasonable support for certain assumptions of the model; however, data from cannabis users failed to provide adequate support as hypothesised. It was concluded that the model should be adjusted accordingly to accommodate the contrary findings concerning cannabis use.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available