Adolescent-onset alcohol abuse exacerbates the influence of childhood conduct disorder on late adolescent and early adult antisocial behaviour
Howard, Richard C.
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This study tested the hypothesis that adolescent-onset alcohol abuse (AOAA) would both mediate and moderate the effect of childhood conduct disorder on antisocial behaviour in late adolescence and early adulthood. A sample comprising 504 young men and women strategically recruited from the community were grouped using the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: APA), as follows: neither childhood conduct disorder (CCD) nor alcohol abuse/dependence; CCD but no alcohol abuse or dependence; alcohol abuse/dependence but no CCD; both CCD and alcohol abuse/dependence. The outcome measure was the sum of positive responses to 55 interview items capturing a variety of antisocial behaviours engaged in since age 15. Severity of lifetime alcohol-related and CCD problems served as predictor variables in regression analysis. Antisocial behaviour problems were greatest in individuals with a history of co-occurring conduct disorder (CD) and alcohol abuse/dependence. While CCD was strongly predictive of adult antisocial behaviour, this effect was both mediated and moderated (exacerbated) by AOAA. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)