Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 33–41

Biological maturation in adolescence and the development of drinking habits and alcohol abuse among young males: A prospective longitudinal study

  • Tommy Andersson
  • David Magnusson


In the present study, the relationship between biological maturation (skeletal growth) in adolescence and the development of drinking habits and alcohol abuse were studied for a representative group of Swedish males. The results showed that early maturers and late maturers had more advanced drinking habits at age 14 as compared to their normally maturing same-aged peers (p<.05).This difference was not significant 1 1/2 years later. In young adulthood more than one third (36%) of the late maturers were registered for alcohol abuse as compared to 14% of the normal maturers and 8% of the early maturers (p=.12).The relevance of psychosocial factors as mediating the relationship between biology and actual behavior was discussed. It was emphasized that differences in biological and psychosocial maturity should be taken into consideration when studying adolescent behavior, both in cross-sectional and in longitudinal perspectives.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tommy Andersson
    • 1
  • David Magnusson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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