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Background: The co-occurrence of alcohol use and antisocial behavior is well established, but different hypotheses exist regarding the direction of effects between the 2 behaviors. We used longitudinal data to examine the directional relationship between the 2 behaviors across adolescence.
Methods: A cross-lagged model was applied to longitudinal data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. The sample used in the present study consisted of 4,354 females and 3,984 males. Alcohol use and antisocial behavior were measured with multiple items collected at 12, 13, 15, and 17 years of age.
Results: Both alcohol use and antisocial behavior were highly stable, as evidenced by highly significant autoregressive paths. Regarding the cross-lagged paths, neither behavior was predictive of the other during early adolescence (between ages 12 and 13). During mid-to late adolescence (from ages 13 to 17), antisocial behavior was predictive of subsequent alcohol use. Alcohol use was predictive of antisocial behavior in late adolescence (between ages 15 and 17), although this relationship was mainly driven by males and was not significant in the female subgroup.
Conclusions: The result generally supported the direction from antisocial behavior to alcohol use, especially during mid-to late adolescence. However, there was also a suggestion that the direction of relationship between the 2 behaviors changes across adolescence. The results highlight the importance of considering developmental stages to understand the directional relationships between the 2 behaviors.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.
- Alcohol Use
- Antisocial Behavior
- Directional Relationship
- Longitudinal Design
- ENVIRONMENTAL RISK-FACTORS
- COMMON MENTAL-DISORDERS
- SUBSTANCE USE
- CONDUCT DISORDER
- EXTERNALIZING PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
- MULTIDIMENSIONAL TYPOLOGIES
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