Poor temperament in childhood linked to adolescent alcohol use

Washington, July 11 (ANI): Children under the age of five with behavioral issues are likelier to start drinking by the age of 15, according to a new study.

Most risk and protective factors for alcohol use have roots in early childhood.

In other words, an individual enters adolescence with personality characteristics and life experiences that have accumulated during the first decade of life.

An evaluation of measures of temperament from children six months through to five years of age has found that childhood temperament prior to age five predicts adolescent alcohol use and problems at age 15.5 years, even after controlling for socio-demographic factors and parental alcohol problems.

"Most scientists who study alcohol use start studying people in adolescence, since that is when alcohol use is usually first initiated/experimented with," Danielle Dick, associate professor of psychiatry, psychology and human and molecular genetics with the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as corresponding author for the study, said.

"But people don't enter adolescence as blank slates; they have a history of life experiences that they bring with them, dating back to early childhood. This is one of the most comprehensive attempts to understand very early childhood predictors of adolescent alcohol use in a large epidemiological cohort," the researcher said.

The research is set to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research and is currently available at Early View. (ANI)


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