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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Apr;88 Suppl 1:S14-26. Epub 2007 Feb 9.

Conduct and attentional problems in childhood and adolescence and later substance use, abuse and dependence: results of a 25-year longitudinal study.

Author information

  • 1Christchurch Health & Development Study, Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, P.O. Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand. david.fergisson@chmeds.ac.nz

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This paper examines the linkages between conduct problems and attentional problems in middle childhood and adolescence and later substance use, abuse and dependence in young adulthood.

METHODS:

Data were gathered over the course of a 25-year longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1265 New Zealand born children. These data included: (a) measures of conduct and attentional problems in middle childhood (7-9 years) and adolescence (14-16 years); (b) measures of substance use, abuse and dependence from 18-25 years; and (c) confounding social, family and related factors.

RESULTS:

Statistical modelling produced a consistent set of results showing: (i) conduct problems in childhood and adolescence were generally related to later substance use, abuse and dependence even after control for attentional problems and confounders; (ii) attentional problems were largely unrelated to later substance use, abuse and dependence after control for conduct problems and confounders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Conduct problems in both middle childhood and adolescence are related to increased risks of longer-term substance use, abuse and dependence. Any association between early attentional problems and later substance use abuse and dependence is largely mediated via the association between conduct and attentional problems.

PMID:
17292565
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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