Ambivalent Prospection: Covid-Related Attitudes in Patients with Substance Dependence



The study explored associations between individual characteristics that are considered markers of suicidal and non-suicidal self-destruction (substance dependence; hopelessness, and impulsiveness), prospection (or future thinking), and attitudes to a novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). After all inclusion/exclusion criteria were met, the sample (N=102) included two comparison groups: Group 1 comprised male in-patients diagnosed with substance dependence (N=62), and Group 2 consisted of males without this diagnosis (N=40). Methods: Beck’s Hopelessness Scale; Barratt’s Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11); self-defining future projections (SDFP) generation task; COVID-19 self-report measure. Results: Groups had almost similar levels of declared COVID-related attitudes, but differed significantly in impulsiveness and hopelessness. SDFPs in Group 1 differed from those in Group 2 as to their phenomenological (shorter time perspective; more negative; less frequently simulated), content (higher frequency of Relationship and lower frequency of Achievement events), and psychological characteristics (lower Competence and Autonomy). Groups had different patterns of correlations between COVID-related and psychological parameters associated with self-destruction, as well as between all these parameters and SDFP characteristics. We also found evidence in favor of the hypothesis regarding protective function of prospection. Conclusions: We were able to confirm the association between dysfunctional COVID-related attitudes and individual characteristics that are frequently considered to be markers of non-suicidal self-destruction only partially. Nonetheless, the identified dissociation between declared COVID recognition and willingness to observe epidemiological precautions and actual neglect of those may require future study.

General Information

Keywords: COVID-19, self-destructive behavior, substance dependence, hopelessness, impulsiveness, prospection

Journal rubric: Therapevtic Community

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Tuchina O.D., Agibalova T.V., Panov A.S., Shustov D.I., Bryun E.A., Buzik O.Z. Ambivalent Prospection: Covid-Related Attitudes in Patients with Substance Dependence. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2020. Vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 100–121. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2020280307.

A Part of Article

The spread of a novel infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) resulted in a dramatic change in people’s life style, global socioeconomic crisis, and deterioration of mental well-being in affected countries. People globally have been experiencing a whole range of negative emotions from lowered mood to hopelessness due to an exposure to isolation, financial challenges, close peoples’ illness and deaths, fear of getting infected and dying.


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Information About the Authors

Olga D. Tuchina, Researcher, Moscow Research and Practical Centre for Narcology of the Department of Public Health, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Tatyana V. Agibalova, Doctor of Medicine, Principal Researcher, Moscow Research and Practical Centre for Narcology of the Department of Public Health, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexey S. Panov, Resident Doctor, Moscow Research and Practical Centre for Narcology of the Department of Public Health, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Dmitri I. Shustov, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, Professor, Head of Psychiatry Department, I.P. Pavlov Ryazan State Medical University, Ryazan, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Evgeny A. Bryun, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, President, Moscow Research and Practical Centre for Narcology of the Department of Public Health, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Oleg Z. Buzik, Doctor of Medicine, Associate Professor, Deputy Director for Research, Moscow Research and Practical Centre for Narcology of the Department of Public Health, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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