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Children's Behavior As Early As Age 3 Can Predict Adolescent Alcohol And Drug Use

  1. Lunar Loops
    This from medicalnewstoday.com (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=47304&nfid=al) :

    Children's Behavior As Early As Age 3 Can Predict Adolescent Alcohol And Drug Use

    Children's behavior as early as age 3 can predict whether they will use alcohol and illicit drugs in adolescence, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the journal Child Development. The study was supported in part with grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

    The study, from researchers at Idaho and Michigan State Universities, and the University of Michigan, tracked 514 children of alcoholics and matched control families over the past decade. From the time the children were 3 to 5 years old, trained interviewers rated the preschoolers' ability to control their impulses and behavior (behavioral control) and flexibly adapt their self-control to environmental demands (resiliency). They continued to evaluate these behaviors every three years thereafter until the participants reached 12 to 14. Once the children were adolescents, the teens themselves provided information on their drinking and drug use.

    The results showed that behavioral control and resiliency predicted the onset of alcohol and illicit drug use in adolescence. Children who have lower levels of behavioral control at ages 3 to 5 and those whose levels of behavioral control increased slower over time were more likely to drink at an early age (i.e., age 14), to report having been drunk, to have more alcohol-related problems and to have used drugs other than alcohol. Additionally, adolescents with higher resiliency in early childhood were less likely to start drinking and experience drunkenness at an early age. They were also less likely to show signs of sadness, anxiety, aggressiveness or delinquent behavior.

    The researchers also found that while having an alcoholic parent significantly increased the risk of early use of alcohol use and subsequent alcohol problems, it didn't increase the likelihood of illicit drug use.

    "These findings are very important because we know that early drinking (at age 14 or earlier) is associated with a greater likelihood for alcohol abuse or dependence in adulthood," said lead author Maria M. Wong, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of psychology at Idaho State University. "If early childhood behaviors such as behavioral control and resiliency put individuals at risk for alcohol and drug use, then programs aimed at changing those behaviors at an early age may protect individuals from experimenting with drugs and alcohol later on."

Comments

  1. Bajeda
    Swim was an extremely well behaved child. He didn't even cry on airplanes when he was younger. He would have to ask his parents about the resiliency thing but he was pretty good overall.

    Still, swim doesn't abuse alcohol or drugs as much as many of his peers, and thinks that maybe the study should also differentiate between responsible drug use (there is such a thing in swim's opinion) and full on dangerous abuse.


    BajEdit: Swim wants to thank you for posting the article though, even if he thinks its a bit biased. "If early childhood behaviors such as behavioral control and resiliency put individuals at risk for alcohol and drug use, then programs aimed at changing those behaviors at an early age may protect individuals from experimenting with drugs and alcohol later on." :rolleyes:
  2. Forthesevenlakes
    Thats just the mentality of addiction researchers. Many of these studies are funded by government grants, and there are certain results and language that the government would prefer to be given to the public. A study concluding that drugs can be used recreationally and with benefit to the individual would probably be a career-killer for a researcher. So, even if the researcher doesn't actually hold the opinion that people should br protected from drugs, they at times must make statements like the one you quoted in order to make sure that they still have a job after publication. Its the politics of the business! Not many researchers have the guts or the clout to pull off a study like the mushrooms and spirituality article SWIM recently read.
  3. Bajeda
    Heh, I just read this post now after posting a new thread on that mushrooms and spirituality article!

    I know that they get their funding from the government, I just wish they would be less normative in their research and just state the facts rather than try and suggest how they be used. At least they are looking into it though.
  4. Forthesevenlakes
    So true. Its all part of the paper writing process...but I agree. A lack of bias would be refreshing, even if these studies are all funded by NIDA...
  5. Bajeda
    Check my spiritual psilocybin thread. It was actually funded by the NIDA, though if you look at the second post you'll see that things are a bit tricky and the organization has distanced itself from the experiment because, and I quote:

    I don't even want to begin getting into discussing the finer points (or lack therof) of this statement....
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