ORIGINAL PAPER

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 356-363

First online:

Adolescent problem behaviours predicting DSM-IV diagnoses of multiple substance use disorder

Findings of a prospective birth cohort study
  • Mohammad Reza HayatbakhshAffiliated withQADREC, School of Population Health, The University of QueenslandQom University of Medical Science Email author 
  • , Jake Moses NajmanAffiliated withQADREC, School of Population Health, The University of QueenslandSchool of Social Science, University of Queensland
  • , Konrad JamrozikAffiliated withQADREC, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland
  • , Abdullah Al MamunAffiliated withQADREC, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland
  • , William BorAffiliated withMater Centre for Service Research in Mental Health, Mater Hospital
  • , Rosa AlatiAffiliated withQADREC, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Background

Whether there is an independent association between problem behaviours and substance use disorders (SUD) needs further investigation. This study examined prospective associations of adolescent psychopathology and problem behaviours with SUD in early adulthood, and whether these associations are confounded by other factors.

Method

Data were from a prospective study of 2,429 young Australian adults from birth to the age of 21 when data on SUD were collected. Adolescent psychopathology and behaviour were assessed at 14 years via the Youth Self Report instrument on eight sub-scales of emotional and behavioural problems.

Results

In multivariate analyses, attention problems, delinquency, and aggression were associated with both single and multiple SUD in early adulthood, with delinquent behaviour being the strongest predictor (OR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.4–2.9 for one SUD and OR = 3.6, 95% CI 2.4–5.0 for multiple SUDs).

Conclusions

Problem behaviours, in particular delinquency and aggression in early adolescence predict long-term SUD. The results suggest that substance use prevention programs should target adolescents with early symptoms of psychopathology and problem behaviour.

Key words

adolescent problem behaviours young adult substance use disorder