Locus of control is associated with tobacco and alcohol consumption in young adults of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children

G. Lassi*, A. E. Taylor, L. Mahedy, J. Heron, T. Eisen, M. R. Munafo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

1 Citation (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Individuals appraise events as a consequence of their own actions (i.e. internal locus of control, LoC) or as the outcome of chance or others' will (i.e. external LoC). We hypothesized that having a more external LoC would be associated with higher risk of tobacco and alcohol use. Few studies have examined this association using large prospective data. We evaluated within the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) the associations between LoC at 16 and tobacco and alcohol consumption at 17 and 21 years using logistic regression. A more external LoC at age 16 ( N = 4656) was associated with higher odds of being a weekly smoker at age 17 (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.10-1.25) and 21 (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.07-1.21) and with dependence measured using the Fagerström Test of Nicotine Dependence at age 17 (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05-1.51) and 21 (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.05-1.49). Individuals with external LoC at age 16 were more likely to be hazardous drinkers according to the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test at age 17 (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.04-1.15) but not at 21 (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.96-1.06). Having a more external LoC at age 16 is associated with increased tobacco consumption at age 17 and 21 and alcohol consumption at 17 years. LoC may represent an intervention target for preventing substance use and dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number181133
Number of pages9
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume6
Issue number3
Early online date27 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Tobacco and Alcohol
  • Physical and Mental Health

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • ALSPAC
  • Drinking
  • Locus-of-control
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco

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