The goal of this application is to extend a line of research examining major self-regulatory influences on alcohol dependence and co-morbid disinhibitory problems started in collaboration with the primary mentor, Peter Finn, Ph.D. Specifically, this application proposes a first aim of investigating the predictive influence of personality traits related to self-control and responsibility, cognitive capacity (in the form of executive working memory), and social investment on patterns of change and continuity in alcohol dependence and co-morbid disinhibitory problems (i.e., marijuana, and other drug dependence, and conduct and antisocial personality disorders).
A second aim i s designed to examine concurrent trends in related neural activation, as assessed via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) using a change signal task. Focusing on the development of these problems in late adolescence will allow for two important questions to be addressed: 1) What developmental trajectories of alcohol and co-morbid disinhibitory problems can be predicted from assessing the development of personality traits related to self-control and responsibility, executive working memory, and social investment? and 2) How do individual differences in neural activation prospectively predict developmental patterns of problems and how do developmental patterns of neural activation correspond to observed patterns of development among personality traits related to responsibility and self-control, executive working memory, social investment, and alcohol problems? Addressing these questions would help establish the PI's long-term career goal of developing sophisticated models of self-regulation for alcohol dependence and co-morbid disinhibitory problems and using those models to test possible interventions (i.e., the third aim in the ROO phase). In the K99 phase, the above aims will be addressed using a two-year five-wave longitudinal study of approximately 200 college-aged participants. Previous research indicates such participants are well suited for addressing ontogenetic questions due to the developmental dynamism of the major constructs and outcomes of interest in late adolescence and early adulthood. Subsequent research in the three-year ROO phase also will use a longitudinal design, as well as a monthly diary design and a pilot intervention design, all with neuroimaging components.

Public Health Relevance

Because the plan seeks to predict one of the leading behavioral contributors to mortality (i.e., alcohol dependence) using a conceptually and methodologically integrative framework, it explicitly addresses the NIH mission of producing knowledge related to the """"""""behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.""""""""

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Career Transition Award (K99)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Shirley, Mariela
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Indiana University Bloomington
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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