The relationship between subjective social status, impulsivity and addictive behaviours


Why are people from less affluent social groups more likely to engage in addictive behaviours and to transition from recreational use to addiction? One contributing factor may be the influence that the environment has on decision-making. To test this, we examined the relationship between subjective social status, impulsivity, and engagement with addictive behaviours in 500 adults in the United Kingdom. Regression and Path Analyses were used to examine the direct and indirect relationships between subjective social status, trait impulsivity, and potentially addictive behaviours, including alcohol consumption, gambling, tobacco and drug use, and gaming. Social status was predictive of trait impulsivity but did not directly predict all of the addictive behaviours that we examined. Instead, we found an indirect relationship between subjective social status and trait impulsivity, and between trait impulsivity and participation with addictive behaviours. The data are important for our understanding of the role that environment plays in the development of individual differences and the distribution of addiction behaviour across social groups. We anticipate that early screening tools or interventions can be developed where individuals with low social status and high trait impulsivity are alerted to their increased risk of addiction.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
Additional Information: Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Addiction,Addictive behaviour,Alcohol,Drugs,Gambling,Gaming,Smoking,Subjective social status,Psychiatry and Mental health,Biological Psychiatry
Publication ISSN: 2772-5987
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 07:33
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2023 12:42
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 772598723000296 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-09
Published Online Date: 2023-06-17
Accepted Date: 2023-05-31
Authors: Tunney, Richard J. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-757X)
Raybould, Jodie N.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

| Preview

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record