Home > The longitudinal relationship of alcohol problems and depressive symptoms and the impact of externalising symptoms: findings from the Belfast Youth Developmental Study.

Homman, Lina E and Perra, Oliver and Higgins, Kathryn and O'Neill, Francis (2019) The longitudinal relationship of alcohol problems and depressive symptoms and the impact of externalising symptoms: findings from the Belfast Youth Developmental Study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology , Early online .

URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00127...

PURPOSE
The aim of the present study was to contribute to the inconsistent literature on the comorbid relationship of alcohol problems and depressive symptoms from late adolescent to emerging adulthood by accounting for their trajectories and their conjoint relationship while controlling for the influence of externalising symptoms.

METHODS
We utilised data, from a longitudinal school cohort from Northern Ireland (Belfast Youth Developmental Study), over three time points where the participants were 16, 17 and 21 years of age. A total of 3118 participants were included, 1713 females and 1405 males. Second-order latent growth models were applied to examine growth trajectories. Parallel process growth models were used to assess whether growth trajectories of the symptoms were associated. Externalising symptoms were subsequently added as a covariate.

RESULTS
Alcohol problems among males significantly increased over time but decreased in females. Depressive symptoms initially increased then decreased in both genders. Results indicated associations of the alcohol problems and depression, both initially and with time. Accounting for externalising symptoms only somewhat diminished this effect in males but not in females. An increase of initial levels of depression was associated with a decrease in alcohol problems over time. This association was only true among females. After controlling for externalising symptoms, the relationship was no longer observed.

CONCLUSIONS
The present study provides further evidence of a significant relationship of alcohol problems and depression in adolescents and further supports a small literature indicating that depression may have protective effects of alcohol problems. Finally, the study shows the importance of accounting for externalising symptoms.


Item Type:Article
Date:2019
Publisher:Springer
Volume:Early online
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > State of health > Mental health
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use
T Demographic characteristics > Adolescent / youth (teenager / young person)
T Demographic characteristics > Young adult
VA Geographic area > Europe > Northern Ireland

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