Engagement of pleasant activities in patients with substance use disorders: A correlational study

Hendrik G. Roozen, Martin Strietman, Hans Wiersema, Robert J. Meyers, Peter M. Lewinsohn, Jan A. Feij, Peter G. J. Greeven, Ad J. J. M. Vingerhoets, Wim van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing awareness that the treatment of patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) should target increasing patients’ involvement in alternative pleasant reinforcers that compete with the reinforcing effects of substance use. The present cross-sectional study sought to identify factors that promote or impede engaging in pleasant activities.
Patients with SUDs (N = 265) were assessed at treatment entry on sociodemographic characteristics, primary type of substance (ie, alcohol or illicit drugs), addiction severity, craving, personality factors, and psychiatric distress. Results: Regression analyses identified dissimilar predictor sets underlying frequency, enjoyability, and cross-product ratings, highlighting the multifaceted behavioral nature of activity engagement. Personality measures showed the strongest associations with patients’ activity engagement, with extraversion as the key predictor.
The present findings emphasize the complexity of patients’ involvement in pleasant non–substance-related activities and further investigation is necessary to gain more insight into the underlying mechanisms of activity engagement.
Keywords: Activity, addiction, alcohol, drugs, personality, pleasant activities list, prediction, reinforcement

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-261
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Activity
  • addiction
  • alcohol
  • drugs
  • personality
  • pleasant activities list
  • prediction
  • reinforcement


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