Personality disorder factors predict recovery of employment functioning among treated cocaine abusers

Robert C. McMahon, Craig Enders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Identifying treatments that produce specific benefits in nondrug psychosocial functioning areas such as employment functioning has been illusive. Examination of dimensions of clinical status that moderate such effects may be useful in planning more effective interventions. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to determine if life stress and four dimensions of personality and psychopathology previously found to predict early post-treatment relapse in diverse groups of substance abusers, predict less recovery in employment functioning among 240 cocaine dependent males after completion of residential treatment. Methods: Latent growth curve analysis was used to determine if antisocial, avoidant, dependent, paranoid-delusional personality dimensions, and life event stress predict employment problem severity evident at drug treatment discharge and change in employment problems over three 3-month follow-up intervals. Results: Individuals with higher employment severity at intake and those who spent less time in treatment tended to have greater employment problems at the predischarge. Two covariates were significant predictors of the linear growth component, and the set of covariates explained approximately 18% of the variation in the linear growth rates. Individuals with higher paranoid/delusional scores and lower educational attainment experienced less improvement in their employment status over follow-up. Conclusions: Current findings appear consistent with those of McLellan and colleagues who found that greater psychiatric severity predicts poor response to treatment across multiple psychosocial outcomes including employment status. Clinical Significance: More intensive and long-term psychiatric treatment and vocational-educational rehabilitative services may be required for improvement in employment functioning among those with relatively severe psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-144
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Employment
  • Factors
  • Personality
  • Predict
  • Recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Personality disorder factors predict recovery of employment functioning among treated cocaine abusers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this