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Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 1215–1224 | Cite as

Longitudinal Associations of Alcohol Involvement with Subjective Well-Being in Adolescence and Prediction to Alcohol Problems in Early Adulthood

  • W. Alex Mason
  • Richard L. Spoth
Empirical Research

Abstract

Adolescent alcohol involvement is associated with numerous negative outcomes, but also appears to have positive correlates, including subjective well-being. Additional research is needed to understand these paradoxical findings. The current study examines alcohol use, adverse alcohol-related (and other substance-related) consequences, and subjective well being in adolescence, and prediction to problem alcohol use in early adulthood. Participants in this longitudinal study, which extended from age 11 to age 21, were 208 rural teens (109 girls) and their families. Covariates included early substance use, early conduct problems, early depressed mood, gender, and parent educational attainment. Structural equation modeling showed that subjective well-being at age 16 positively predicted increased alcohol use at age 18. Alcohol use was not a significant predictor of subjective well-being; however, alcohol use at age 18 positively predicted alcohol problems at age 21, even while controlling for earlier adverse consequences and other predictors. Results help to further elucidate both the negative and positive correlates of underage drinking, and support the value of delaying alcohol initiation.

Keywords

Alcohol use Subjective well-being Longitudinal Adolescence Early adulthood 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by NIAAA Grant AA14702, NIDA Grant DA10815, and NIHM Grant 49217. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the official views of the funding agencies. Neither author has a conflict of interest to declare.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Boys Town National Research Institute for Child and Family StudiesBoys TownUSA
  2. 2.Partnerships in Prevention Science InstituteIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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