Addiction and Identity: Exploring the Possibility of a Relationship

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Evidence gathered from a focused review of research onaddiction and identity shows that identification with an addiction may lead to increased involvement in the addictive activity; whereas identificationwith behaviors incompatible with an addiction may lead to reducedinvolvement in the addictive activity. The contention that labelinga behavior addictive fosters identification with and involvement inthat activity produced mixed results, suggesting that a number ofvariables may moderate the relationship between labeling andlong-term outcome. Recommendations for future research on theproposed addiction–identity connection are discussed.

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