Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Addiction. 2004 Nov;99 Suppl 2:5-22.

The natural history of adolescent alcohol use disorders.

Author information

  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. clarkdb@upmc.edu

Abstract

AIM:

To examine clinically relevant research on the development, course and outcomes of adolescence alcohol use disorders (AUDs).

METHODS:

Observational studies with adolescent samples were selected for inclusion based on systematic assessment of AUDs and clinical relevance. The literature was searched using Medline and Psychinfo. Articles on childhood predictors, characteristics, course, complications and adult outcomes of adolescent AUDs were reviewed.

RESULTS:

The developmental trajectory toward adolescent AUDs begins with the emergence of childhood mental disorders. These problems are transmitted from parent to child in a developmentally specific fashion, reflect psychological dysregulation dimensions and predict adolescent AUDs. While most DSM-IV AUD diagnostic criterion items are valid for adolescents, tolerance and impaired control items are problematic, and some adolescents with significant alcohol problems are not identified by this diagnostic system. Understanding the psychosocial and biomedical complications that accompany AUDs requires attention to factors other than alcohol involvement itself, including childhood maltreatment and comorbid psychopathology. While some adolescents with AUDs manifest chronic alcohol dependence in adulthood, a substantial proportion overcome alcohol problems and transition to abstinence or normative drinking.

CONCLUSIONS:

Developmentally specific phenotypic characteristics define the natural history of adolescent AUDs, inform clinical assessment and provide the developmental context for treatment research. While alcohol consumption may be the primary treatment focus, other important consequences, comorbidities and complications need to be addressed for successful developmental outcomes to result.

PMID:
15488102
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk