Research suggests that parental substance use disorder is associated with adolescent drinking indirectly through negative urgency, a form of impulsivity that is particularly associated with high-risk drinking. Moreover, childhood mechanisms of risk may play a role in this developmental chain such that childhood temperament and parenting may be mechanisms through which parental substance use disorder is associated with adolescent negative urgency and drinking behavior. Therefore, the current study tested whether parental substance use disorder was indirectly associated with adolescent drinking frequency through childhood temperament (i.e., “dysregulated irritability”) and adolescent negative urgency, and whether relations differed by levels of maternal support and consistency of discipline. Data come from a multigenerational, longitudinal study of familial substance use disorder (N = 276, Mage in childhood = 6.28 (SD = 1.16), Mage in adolescence = 15.86 (SD = 1.56), 45.3% female). Findings indicated that parental substance use disorder indirectly predicted adolescent drinking through both childhood dysregulated irritability and adolescent negative urgency (mediated pathways). This indirect relation was stronger at higher vs. lower levels of maternal support but did not vary by maternal consistency of discipline. Parental substance use disorder also indirectly predicted adolescent drinking separately through childhood dysregulated irritability and negative urgency. Findings thus suggest that childhood dysregulated irritability may be an early marker of risk toward high-risk personality traits and behavior in adolescence that are associated with having a parental history of substance use disorder. Findings also suggest that increased maternal support may only be helpful in buffering risk for those with low levels of dysregulated irritability. Prevention efforts focused on childhood emotion regulation and emotion-based action may be useful in preventing adolescent risk behavior.
- Adolescent drinking
- Negative Urgency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)