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DISSERTATION ABSTRACT

A mediated model of predictors of treatment engagement among heroin, cocaine and marijuana users
by Schlundt Malfi, Debra L., M.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, DISSERTATION PROPOSAL accepted 2007 - In progress

The importance and efficacy of formalized treatment for drug abuse and dependence, combined with high attrition rates in drug treatment settings, emphasizes the need for research to help understand what factors influence an individual's decision to engage in treatment.  While some research has investigated the predictors of treatment engagement among drug users, the majority of these studies have only examined direct relationships between predictors and treatment engagement.  Additionally, many studies utilize samples made up of mostly male participants and the majority of studies have not examined the possibility of differing predictors for male and female drug users.  This study aims to address these two research concerns by testing a model of treatment engagement in which the effects of psychiatric distress, family and social problems and religious attendance on treatment engagement are mediated by motivation to change and by testing the model for the entire sample as well as separately for male and female participants.  In doing so, this proposed study will help fill a gap in the addiction literature and act as a springboard for additional research examining complex treatment engagement models and sex differences among predictors of treatment engagement.