Do executive and reactive disinhibition mediate the effects of familial substance use disorders on adolescent externalizing outcomes?

Elizabeth D. Handley, Laurie Chassin, Moira M. Haller, Kaitlin E. Bountress, Danielle Dandreaux, Iris Beltran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined the potential mediating roles of executive and reactive disinhibition in predicting conduct problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, and substance use among adolescents with and without a family history of substance use disorders. Using data from 247 high-risk adolescents, parents, and grandparents, structural equation modeling indicated that reactive disinhibition, as measured by sensation seeking, mediated the effect of familial drug use disorders on all facets of the adolescent externalizing spectrum. Executive disinhibition, as measured by response disinhibition, spatial short term memory, and "trait" impulsivity, was associated with ADHD symptoms. Moreover, although executive functioning weakness were unrelated to familial substance use disorders, adolescents with familial alcohol use disorders were at risk for "trait" impulsivity marked by a lack of planning. These results illustrate the importance of "unpacking" the broad temperament style of disinhibition and of studying the processes that underlie the commonality among facets of the externalizing spectrum and processes that predict specific externalizing outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-542
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Volume120
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Externalizing spectrum
  • Familial substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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