Adolescence is a critical period of neurological, biological, and social growth during the transition from childhood to adulthood. Healthy adolescence is defined by an increasing ability to control impulsive behavior. Deviations from normal development that are produced by substance use and environmental factors are thought to contribute to poor impulse control. Preadolescent problems with impulse control and family histories of substance use disorders appear to increase the risk of earlier substance use initiation during adolescence. It is unknown whether poor impulse control contributes to, or is the result of, substance use and whether poor impulse control and substance use interact across adolescent development to produce increasingly negative outcomes. During a 5-year longitudinal study, we will determine how preadolescent impulse control predicts, and/or later substance use involvement alters, development of adolescent impulse control. We will recruit 360 preadolescent boys and girls (ages 10-12) with and without family histories of substance use disorders, none of whom have initiated regular substance use. Adolescents will complete assessments at study entry and again every 6 months through middle adolescence (from ages 10 through 17), when the risk of developing substance use is heightened. We will monitor changes in substance use involvement, environmental stressors, physical maturation, and impulse control. The project will examine these complex developmental influences on impulse control and substance use involvement by: (1) determining to what extent preadolescent levels of impulse control differ as a function of family history of substance use disorders;(2) determining to what extent preadolescent levels of impulse control predict regular substance use;(3) characterizing impulse control of normal adolescence, and how this development differs with varying levels of substance use;(4) determining how the development of impulse control among substance users is related to the progression of substance use involvement;(5) determining the relative influence of family histories of substance use disorders, substance use involvement, environmental stressors, and maturation on impulse control development across adolescence;(6) determining if there is a reciprocal relationship between impulse control and substance use involvement, such that they have increasingly negative behavioral outcomes that affect each other during adolescence;and (7) testing the relationships of impulse control, family history of substance use disorders, environmental stressors, and substance use involvement within the context of two leading models. By carrying out these aims, we will determine when, how, and to what extent individual differences in these factors contribute to the initiation and progression of substance use;how subsequent substance use affects development of impulse control;and whether our findings support two leading theoretical models of adolescent substance use involvement.

Public Health Relevance

This study will advance our understanding of how the development of impulse control and environmental influences occurring during adolescence interact with one another to lead to problems with substance use. Understanding these relationships will aid in the identification of the antecedents and consequences of substance use on key processes of adolescent development. The advancement of better prevention programs and substance use treatments are dependent on a gaining a better understanding of these complex relationships.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DA026868-05
Application #
8617824
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-R (02))
Program Officer
Sirocco, Karen
Project Start
2010-05-15
Project End
2015-02-28
Budget Start
2014-03-01
Budget End
2015-02-28
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$582,613
Indirect Cost
$176,338
Name
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
Department
Psychiatry
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
800772162
City
San Antonio
State
TX
Country
United States
Zip Code
78229
Acheson, Ashley; Wijtenburg, S Andrea; Rowland, Laura M et al. (2014) Combining diffusion tensor imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study reduced frontal white matter integrity in youths with family histories of substance use disorders. Hum Brain Mapp 35:5877-87
Acheson, Ashley; Wijtenburg, S Andrea; Rowland, Laura M et al. (2014) Assessment of whole brain white matter integrity in youths and young adults with a family history of substance-use disorders. Hum Brain Mapp 35:5401-13
Dougherty, Donald M; Charles, Nora E; Mathias, Charles W et al. (2014) Delay discounting differentiates pre-adolescents at high and low risk for substance use disorders based on family history. Drug Alcohol Depend 143:105-11
Acheson, Ashley; Tagamets, Malle A; Rowland, Laura M et al. (2014) Increased forebrain activations in youths with family histories of alcohol and other substance use disorders performing a Go/NoGo task. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 38:2944-51
Acheson, Ashley; Richard, Dawn M; Mathias, Charles W et al. (2011) Adults with a family history of alcohol related problems are more impulsive on measures of response initiation and response inhibition. Drug Alcohol Depend 117:198-203