Early adolescent psychopathology as a predictor of alcohol use disorders by young adulthood

Dustin Pardini, Helene Raskin White, Magda Stouthamer-Loeber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Few prospective studies have examined the relation between early adolescent conduct disorder (CD) symptoms and the development of alcohol use disorders (AUD) by young adulthood. The relative contribution of other forms of adolescent psychopathology (i.e., attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety/withdrawal) to the development of AUD also remains poorly understood. There is some suggestion that the co-occurrence of conduct disorder symptoms with other forms of psychopathology may interact synergistically in predicting later alcohol use problems. The current study explores these issues using data on 506 boys from the oldest sample of the Pittsburgh Youth Study (PYS). Consistent with prior research, early conduct disorder symptoms emerged as a consistent predictor of increased AUD symptoms and an alcohol dependence diagnosis by young adulthood. In contrast, adolescent boys with high levels of anxiety/withdrawal had lower levels of AUD symptoms and were less likely to develop alcohol dependence by young adulthood. Increased depression in early adolescence was associated with higher AUD symptoms and alcohol abuse and dependence diagnoses by young adulthood, but only for boys with high levels of conduct disorder symptoms. No evidence was found for a relation between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and AUD symptoms or diagnoses after controlling for co-occurring psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S38-S49
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Conduct disorder
  • Depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Early adolescent psychopathology as a predictor of alcohol use disorders by young adulthood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this