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Adolescent alcohol use trajectories: risk factors and adult outcomes


Yuen, WS and Chan, G and Bruno, R and Clare, P and Mattick, R and Aiken, A and Boland, V and McBride, N and McCambridge, J and Slade, T and Kypri, K and Horwood, J and Hutchinson, D and Najman, J and De Torres, C and Peacock, A, Adolescent alcohol use trajectories: risk factors and adult outcomes, Pediatrics (English Edition), 146, (4) Article e20200440. ISSN 0031-4005 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1542/peds.2020-0440


OBJECTIVES: Adolescents often display heterogenous trajectories of alcohol use. Initiation and abstract escalation of drinking may be important predictors of later harms, including alcohol use disorder (AUD). Previous conceptualizations of these trajectories lacked adjustment for known confounders of adolescent drinking, which we aimed to address by modeling dynamic changes in drinking throughout adolescence while adjusting for covariates.

METHODS: Survey data from a longitudinal cohort of Australian adolescents (n = 1813) were used to model latent class alcohol use trajectories over 5 annual follow-ups (mean age = 13.9 until 17.8 years). Regression models were used to determine whether child, parent, and peer factors at baseline (mean age = 12.9 years) predicted trajectory membership and whether trajectories predicted self-reported symptoms of AUD at the final follow-up (mean age = 18.8 years).

RESULTS: We identified 4 classes: abstaining (n = 352); late-onset moderate drinking (n = 503); early-onset moderate drinking (n = 663); and early-onset heavy drinking (n = 295). Having more alcohol-specific household rules reduced risk of early-onset heavy drinking compared with late-onset moderate drinking (relative risk ratio: 0.31; 99.5% confidence interval [CI]: 0.110.83), whereas having more substance-using peers increased this risk (relative risk ratio: 3.43; 99.5% CI: 2.105.62). Early-onset heavy drinking increased odds of meeting criteria for AUD in early adulthood (odds ratio: 7.68; 99.5% CI: 2.4124.47).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides evidence that parenting factors and peer influences in early adolescence should be considered to reduce risk of later alcohol-related harm. Early initiation and heavy alcohol use throughout adolescence are associated with increased risk of alcoholrelated harm compared with recommended maximum levels of consumption (late-onset, moderate drinking).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:parental supply, alcohol, adolescents
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Substance abuse
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:142485
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1146634)
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-01-19
Last Modified:2021-03-22

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