Based in developmental psychopathology paradigms of risk, resilience and prevention, this study seeks to extend 9 annual assessments of a cohort of about 300 affluent students (New England Study of Suburban Youth, NESSY;DA014385). Students have been followed from the 6th-12th grades at school and post freshman year at college, and we are now conducting assessments post sophomore year of college. The NESSY study has involved multiple measures, constructs, and respondents, with retention of 85-90% over time. Results thus far have shown substantial elevations in many adjustment problems especially substance use and rule-breaking among both girls and boys, and elevated depression and anxiety among the girls.

Public Health Relevance

PARAGRAPH: In the proposed study, we seek to follow this cohort for 4 additional annual assessments post Years 3 and 4 of college, and the first 2 years after college graduation, toward pursuing the following Specific Aims: (1) To examine developmental trajectories of substance use through early adulthood;(2) To examine antecedents of early adult substance use, considering a) prior parent and peer socializing dimensions, b) mediators of links between socializing dimensions and substance use (i.e., youths'overemphasis on achievements, internalizing and externalizing problems), and c) potential moderators involving youths'personal characteristics;(3) To examine the consequence of substance use for early adulthood including a) psychological problems, b) academic performance, and c) quality of close relationships as rated by others. Recent studies of other affluent teen samples corroborate our findings with NESSY youth, showing high substance use and related problems relative to norms. The long-term ramifications of these adolescent disturbances, however, are presently unknown. This study would be the first to yield multi-wave data on a cohort of affluent youth, illuminating trajectories (and/or potential "maturing out") of substance use and associated problems across adolescence and early adulthood (spanning the high-risk college years as well as the transition out of college, potentially into jobs and committed long-term relationships). With multi- informant data gathered from middle childhood onwards and high retention, prospective analyses of risk and protective processes could be invaluable in informing interventions for youth such as these -- a non-trivial proportion of whom have consistently reported high levels of substance use over several years.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section (PDRP)
Program Officer
Etz, Kathleen
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Columbia University Teachers College
Schools of Education
New York
United States
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Barbot, Baptiste; Hein, Sascha; Luthar, Suniya S et al. (2014) Capturing Age-group Differences and Developmental Change with the BASC Parent Rating Scales. J Appl Dev Psychol 35:294-303
Barbot, Baptiste; Heinz, Sasha L; Luthar, Suniya S (2014) Perceived parental reactions to adolescent distress: development and validation of a brief measure. Attach Hum Dev 16:1-21
Khafi, Tamar Y; Yates, Tuppett M; Luthar, Suniya S (2014) Ethnic differences in the developmental significance of parentification. Fam Process 53:267-87
Barbot, Baptiste; Crossman, Elizabeth; Hunter, Scott R et al. (2014) Reciprocal influences between maternal parenting and child adjustment in a high-risk population: a 5-year cross-lagged analysis of bidirectional effects. Am J Orthopsychiatry 84:567-80
Coren, Sidney A; Luthar, Suniya S (2014) Pursuing Perfection: Distress and Interpersonal Functioning Among Adolescent Boys in Single-Sex and Co-Educational Independent Schools. Psychol Sch 51:931-946
Barbot, Baptiste; Hunter, Scott R; Grigorenko, Elena L et al. (2013) Dynamic of Change in Pathological Personality Trait Dimensions: A Latent Change Analysis Among at-Risk Women. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 35:173-185
Ansary, Nadia S; Luthar, Suniya S (2009) Distress and academic achievement among adolescents of affluence: a study of externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors and school performance. Dev Psychopathol 21:319-41
Luthar, Suniya S; Goldstein, Adam S (2008) Substance use and related behaviors among suburban late adolescents: the importance of perceived parent containment. Dev Psychopathol 20:591-614
Yates, Tuppett M; Tracy, Allison J; Luthar, Suniya S (2008) Nonsuicidal self-injury among "privileged" youths: longitudinal and cross-sectional approaches to developmental process. J Consult Clin Psychol 76:52-62
Becker, Bronwyn E; Luthar, Suniya S (2007) Peer-Perceived Admiration and Social Preference: Contextual Correlates of Positive Peer Regard Among Suburban and Urban Adolescents. J Res Adolesc 17:117-144

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