Latent Trajectory Classes for Alcohol-Related Blackouts from Age 15 to 19 in ALSPAC

Marc A Schuckit, Tom L Smith, Jon Heron, Matt Hickman, John A A Macleod, Marcus R Munafo, Kenneth S Kendler, Danielle M Dick, George Davey-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Alcohol-related blackouts (ARBs) are reported by ~50% of drinkers. While much is known about the prevalence of ARBs in young adults and their cross-sectional correlates, there are few prospective studies regarding their trajectories over time during mid-adolescence. This paper reports latent trajectory classes of ARBs between age 15 and 19, along with predictors of those patterns.

METHODS: Latent class growth analysis (LCGA) was used to evaluate the pattern of occurrence of ARBs across 4 time points for 1,402 drinking adolescents from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Multinomial regression analyses evaluated age-15 demography, substance-related items, externalizing characteristics, and estimated peer substance use as predictors of latent class membership.

RESULTS: ARBs were reported at age 15 in 30% and at age 19 in 74% of these subjects. Four latent trajectory classes were identified: Class 1 (5.1%) reported no blackouts; for Class 2 (29.5%), ARBs rapidly increased with age; for Class 3 (44.9%), blackouts slowly increased; and for Class 4 (20.5%), ARBs were consistently reported. Using Class 2 (rapid increasers) as the reference, predictors of class membership included female sex, higher drinking quantities, smoking, externalizing characteristics, and estimated peer substance involvement (pseudo R(2) = 0.22).

CONCLUSIONS: ARBs were common and repetitive in these young subjects, and predictors of their trajectories over time involved multiple domains representing diverse characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Tobacco and Alcohol

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