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

Ryan S. Trim, Barbara T. Meehan, Kevin M. King, Laurie Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 (μage = 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Adolescent substance use
  • Behavioral risk facts
  • Familial risk factors
  • Growth curve models
  • Internalizing
  • Mediation
  • Parent alcoholism
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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