Early alcohol use initiation is a well-established risk factor for the subsequent development of alcohol abuse and dependence. Separate lines of research indicate that impulsivity and risk-taking each are associated with early alcohol use. In this research, the association of the interaction of risk-taking and impulsivity with early alcohol initiation was examined. Results suggest the interaction between impulsivity and risk-taking was related to early alcohol initiation. Among children with lower levels of risk-taking, level of impulsivity was associated with beginning to drink. By contrast, among children with higher levels of risk-taking, level of impulsivity was not associated with the likelihood of initiating alcohol use. These findings suggest that early adolescence is a critical developmental period in which implementing an intervention to reduce impulsivity and risk-taking may be particularly effective to prevent the early initiation of alcohol use.
J Adolesc (Journal of adolescence)
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