Delay-discounting among homeless, out-of-treatment, substance-dependent men who have sex with men

Rhodri Dierst-Davies, Cathy J. Reback, James A. Peck, Miriam A Nuno, Jonathan B. Kamien, Leslie Amass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Background: Impulsivity is associated with substance use; however, to date, impulsivity has not been characterized among a sample of homeless, non-treatment seeking, substance-dependent men who have sex with men (MSM). Objectives: The aim of this study was to utilize the delay-discounting instrument to assess impulsive behaviors among a subsample of homeless, non-treatment seeking, substance-dependent men who have sex with men (S-D MSM) enrolled in a randomized, controlled, contingency management (CM) trial. Methods: Twenty S-D MSM participants from the CM parent study were matched on age and ethnicity to 20 non-substance-dependent, non-homeless control participants using propensity scores (N = 40) and were administered the delay-discounting procedure. Results: Although discounting values decreased rapidly with time in both groups, the S-D MSM participants consistently discounted rewards more steeply than controls (p = .05), particularly at all intermediate measured timeframes. The S-D MSM participants also presented greater median discounting rates (k values) compared with the control group (mS-D MSM = 2.39 (SD = 3.72) vs. mctrl = 1.27 (SD = 3.71), p ≤ .01). Conclusion: This work extends existing findings of increased delay-discounting among substance-dependent individuals to homeless, substance-dependent, non-treatment seeking MSM. Scientific Significance: A better understanding of the prevalence of delay-discounting type behaviors among homeless, substance-dependent MSM can be used to inform the development of tailored substance abuse interventions for this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Delay-discounting
  • MSM
  • Substance-dependent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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