This proposal describes a five year follow-up study of male and female adolescents at risk for developing alcohol problems and will test the 'Deviance Proneness' model of vulnerability for predicting pathological alcohol involvement. The Deviance Proneness theoretical model has often been cited as a pathway into pathological alcohol involvement, and eventually into alcohol dependence. Elements of the model theoretically related to the risk for developing alcohol-related problems, including temperament traits, behavior problems, cognitive functioning, and alcohol expectancies, will be examined in relation to a family history of alcohol dependence. Potential modifiers of alcohol/drug use behavior such as family and peer relations, gender, and coping ability will be also examined.
The aims of the new study derive from our previous studies and will focus on specific aspects of the model. This study will examine the utility of the Deviance Proneness model for predicting problematic drinking behaviors at two points in the adolescent's life. Using structural equation modeling methods, the model will first be tested using the Time 1 database when the subjects were in mid-adolescence ((16-17 years of age) to predict the initiation / maintenance of drinking behaviors and early alcohol problems. The follow-up data will be used to test the predictive value of the model as the subjects are entering early adulthood ((21-22 years of age) and are at maximal risk for heavy drinking and developing alcohol-related problems. The stability and efficiency of the model for predicting pathological alcohol involvement at these two points in time will also be examined. The proposed study builds upon and extends our previous work (UConn ARC Component II,1992-1997) with respect to the characterization of 275 male and female adolescent subjects at risk for alcoholism due to paternal alcoholism, and represents a 5-year follow- up of the current sample as they enter young adulthood This study should enhance our understanding of factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of drinking behavior and drinking problems among 'high risk' adolescents.
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