Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Daniel H. Lende

Keywords

Addiction, Cognitive Anthropology, Colombia, Drug Use, Evolutionary Medicine, Structural Equation Modeling

Abstract

This research examines the interrelated biological and cultural factors that determine pathways by which recreational drug use is manifest to addiction in the lives of youth aged 12-18 in Popay[aacute]n, Colombia. It utilizes existing data from mixed methods research conducted between 2004-2005 examining epidemiological risk factors, drug use, perceptions about drugs, and a biological phenomenon of the brain known as incentive salience. Perceptions and experiences related to drugs were gathered using structured methods. MDS and hierarchical plots of drug perceptions are presented in order to demonstrate the power of culture and expectation on perception and choice. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze quantitative health survey data and evolution-based pathways to addiction are mapped. Results confirm the importance of biocultural models in addressing addiction medicine.

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