Title

Abusing Addiction': Our Language Still Isn't Good Enough

Department

Statistics and Analytical Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-5-2018

Abstract

Previous research has found initial evidence that word choice affects the perception and treatment of those with behavioral health disorders. These previous studies have relied on vignette-based methodologies, however, and a more quantifiable index of the stigma words can produce is needed. The current study uses the Go/No-Go Association Task to calculate a d-prime (sensitivity) indexed score of automatic attitudes to two terms, substance abuser and person with substance use disorder. Participants have significantly more negative automatic attitudes toward the term substance abuser, as compared to person with a substance use disorder. Consistent with previous research, implicit bias does exist for terms commonly used in the behavioral health field. Substance abuser and its derivatives should not be used in professional or lay settings.

Journal

Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly

Journal ISSN

0734-7324

Volume

37

Issue

2

First Page

257

Last Page

272

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1080/07347324.2018.1513777

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