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Psychol Addict Behav. 2007 Mar;21(1):97-107.

The relation between adolescent substance use and young adult internalizing symptoms: findings from a high-risk longitudinal sample.

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Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.


The present study examined the role of adolescent substance use and its antecedent behavioral and familial risk factors in the prediction of young adult internalizing symptoms 10 years later, using a community sample of children of alcoholics (n = 194) and demographically matched controls (n = 209). Using growth curve modeling, the authors found that initial levels of adolescent alcohol and drug use (mu-sub(age) = 13) and growth in drug use during adolescence predicted higher levels of internalizing symptoms in young adulthood, even after including in the models shared risk factors for both internalizing symptoms and adolescent substance use. These effects remained significant after including concurrent substance use in adulthood, suggesting that adolescent substance use exerts a long-term impact on young adult internalizing symptoms over and above the effects of persistent substance use over time. The present investigation further revealed that initial levels of alcohol and drug use in adolescence mediate the relation between parental alcoholism and young adult internalizing symptoms. Findings provide evidence for the long-term effects of adolescent substance use on young adult functioning and can help inform both etiological and prevention research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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