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Addict Behav. 2013 Sep;38(9):2415-21. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.03.021. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Prospective effects of adolescent indicators of behavioral disinhibition on DSM-IV alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug dependence in young adulthood.

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Division of Behavioral Genetics, Rhode Island Hospital, RI, USA.



To identify robust predictors of drug dependence.


This longitudinal study included 2361 male and female twins from an ongoing longitudinal study at the Center for Antisocial Drug Dependence (CADD) at the University of Colorado Boulder and Denver campuses. Twins were recruited for the CADD project while they were between the ages of 12 and 18. Participants in the current study were on average approximately 15years of age during the first wave of assessment and approximately 20years of age at the second wave of assessment. The average time between assessments was five years. A structured interview was administered at each assessment to determine patterns of substance use and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; Fourth Edition) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (CD), and drug dependence symptoms. Cloninger's Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire was also used to assess novelty seeking tendencies (NS). At the second wave of assessment, DSM-IV dependence symptoms were reassessed using the same interview. Path analyses were used to examine direct and indirect mechanisms linking psychopathology and drug outcomes.


Adolescent substance use, CD, and NS predicted young adult substance dependence, whereas the predictive effects of ADHD were few and inconsistent. Furthermore, CD and NS effects were partially mediated by adolescent substance use.


Adolescent conduct problems, novelty seeking, and drug use are important indices of future drug problems. The strongest predictor was novelty seeking.

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