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Externalizing Risk Pathways for Adolescent Substance Use and Its Developmental Onset: A Canadian Birth Cohort Study: Trajectoires de comportements extériorisés et le risque pour l’initiation et l’usage de substances des adolescents : Une étude de cohorte de naissance canadienne.

Can J Psychiatry. 2021 Feb 03;:706743720982429

Authors: Cox SML, Castellanos-Ryan N, Parent S, Benkelfat C, Vitaro F, Pihl RO, Boivin M, Tremblay RE, Leyton M, Séguin JR

OBJECTIVE: Only a minority of drug and alcohol users develops a substance use disorder. Previous studies suggest that this differential vulnerability commonly reflects a developmental trajectory characterized by diverse externalizing behaviors. In this study, we examined the relation between child and adolescent externalizing behaviors and adolescent substance use in a prospectively followed Canadian birth cohort, accounting for the temporal sequence of a wide variety of contributing factors.
METHODS: Two hundred and forty-two adolescents followed since birth (date range: 1996 to 2012) were assessed on externalizing behavior (age 17 months to 16 years), alcohol and cannabis use at age 16, age of alcohol use onset, family history of substance use problems, family functioning (age 11 to 15), sensation seeking (age 16), prenatal substance exposure, socioeconomic status (age 1 to 9), and sex.
RESULTS: Age of alcohol use onset was predicted by a family history of substance use problems, externalizing traits from ages 6 to 10 and 11 to 16, sensation seeking at age 16, prenatal alcohol and tobacco exposure and family functioning at ages 11 to 15. High frequencies of alcohol and cannabis use at age 16 were both predicted by externalizing traits from ages 11 to 16, a family history of substance use problems and sensation seeking after controlling for other individual, environmental and familial variables. The association between familial substance use problems and substance use during adolescence was partially mediated by externalizing traits from age 11 to 16.
CONCLUSIONS: The present findings provide prospective evidence for a developmental risk pathway for adolescent substance use, potentially identifying those who could benefit from early interventions.

PMID: 33530707 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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