Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 95–107 | Cite as

The Interactive Effects of Parental Knowledge with Impulsivity and Sensation Seeking in Adolescent Substance Use

  • Charlie Rioux
  • Natalie Castellanos-RyanEmail author
  • Sophie Parent
  • Frank Vitaro
  • Jean R. Séguin
Original Article


This study examined whether interactions of parental knowledge of adolescent’s whereabouts with impulsivity and sensation seeking in the prediction of adolescent substance use supported the diathesis–stress or differential susceptibility model in 230 15-year old adolescents (53% girls). Interactions between impulsivity and parental knowledge supported the diathesis–stress model with high impulsivity as a vulnerability factor: when impulsivity was higher, low levels of parental knowledge were associated with higher levels of substance use. Interactions between sensation seeking and parental knowledge supported differential susceptibility with low sensation seeking as a susceptibility factor; low parental knowledge was associated with higher substance use and high parental knowledge with lower substance use when sensation seeking was lower. Our results show that impulsivity and sensation seeking should be considered independently. Results support previous research suggesting that impulsivity in adolescence may act as a vulnerability factor and suggests that low sensation seeking may be a susceptibility factor.


Personality Monitoring Alcohol Drugs Moderation 



The authors are grateful to Amélie Rivest and Maria Rosa for data management, and to their partner, the Institut de la Statistique du Québec. The authors thank all the parents and children for their generous participation in the study.


This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research via grant MOP-97910; the Fonds de Recherche en Santé du Québec via a scholarship to CR and a fellowship to NC-R; the Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies via Fellowship 149169 to NC-R; and the Fonds Québécois pour la recherche sur la Société et la Culture grant 2009-RG-124779. The funding sources had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. 1.
    Institut de la statistique du Québec (2014) Enquête québécoise sur le tabac, l’alcool, la drogue et le jeu chez les élèves du secondaire, 2013. Publications du Québec, Sainte-FoyGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Johnston LD, O’Malley PM, Miech RA, Bachman JG, Schulenberg JE (2016) Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2015: overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Institute for Social Research. University of Michigan, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Newbury-Birch D, Walker J, Leah A, Beyer F, Brown N, Jackson K et al (2009) Impact of alcohol consumption on young people: a systematic review of published reviews. Research report DCSF-RR067, NewcastleGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Odgers CL, Caspi A, Nagin DS, Piquero AR, Slutske WS, Milne BJ et al (2008) Is it important to prevent early exposure to drugs and alcohol among adolescents? Psychol Sci 19:1037–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ryan SM, Jorm AF, Lubman DI (2010) Parenting factors associated with reduced adolescent alcohol use: a systematic review of longitudinal studies. Aust N Z J Psych 44:774–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zuckerman M (1999) Vulnerability to psychopathology: a biosocial model. American Psychological Association, Washington, DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Belsky J, Pluess M (2009) Beyond diathesis stress: differential susceptibility to environmental influences. Psychol Bull 135:885–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Stautz K, Cooper A (2013) Impulsivity-related personality traits and adolescent alcohol use: a meta-analytic review. Clin Psychol Rev 33:574–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Charles NE, Mathias CW, Acheson A, Dougherty DM (2017) Preadolescent sensation seeking and early adolescent stress relate to at-risk adolescents’ substance use by age 15. Addict Behav 69:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Crawford AM, Pentz MA, Chou CP, Li CY, Dwyer JH (2003) Parallel developmental trajectories of sensation seeking and regular substance use in adolescents. Psychol Addict Behav 17:179–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Quinn PD, Harden KP (2013) Differential changes in impulsivity and sensation seeking and the escalation of substance use from adolescence to early adulthood. Dev Psychopathol 25:223–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Belsky J, Pluess M (2013) Beyond risk, resilience, and dysregulation: phenotypic plasticity and human development. Dev Psychopathol 25:1243–1261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dishion TJ, McMahon RJ (1998) Parental monitoring and the prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior: a conceptual and empirical formulation. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 1:61–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stattin H, Kerr M (2000) Parental monitoring: a reinterpretation. Child Dev 71:1072–1085CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Laird RD, Pettit GS, Bates JE, Dodge KA (2003) Parents’ monitoring-relevant knowledge and adolescents’ delinquent behavior: evidence of correlated developmental changes and reciprocal influences. Child Dev 74:752–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kerr M, Stattin H (2000) What parents know, how they know it, and several forms of adolescent adjustment: further support for a reinterpretation of monitoring. Dev Psychol 36:366–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Abar CC, Jackson KM, Wood M (2014) Reciprocal relations between perceived parental knowledge and adolescent substance use and delinquency: the moderating role of parent-teen relationship quality. Dev Psychol 50:2176–2187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Delforterie MJ, Verweij KJH, Creemers HE, van Lier PAC, Koot HM, Branje SJT et al (2016) Parental solicitation, parental control, child disclosure, and substance use: native and immigrant Dutch adolescents. Ethn Health 21:535–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    DiClemente RJ, Wingood GM, Crosby R, Sionean C, Cobb BK, Harrington K et al (2001) Parental monitoring: association with adolescents’ risk behaviors. Pediatrics 107:1363–1368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lauriola M, Panno A, Levin IP, Lejuez CW (2014) Individual differences in risky decision making: a meta-analysis of sensation seeking and impulsivity with the balloon analogue risk task. J Behav Decis Mak 27:20–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bevilacqua L, Goldman D (2013) Genetics of impulsive behaviour. Philos Trans R Soc B 368:12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dick DM, Smith G, Olausson P, Mitchell SH, Leeman RF, O’Malley SS et al (2010) Understanding the construct of impulsivity and its relationship to alcohol use disorders. Addict Biol 15:217–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Castellanos-Ryan N, Conrod P (2012) Personality and substance misuse: evidence for a four-factor model of vulnerability. In: Verster J, Brady K, Galanter M, Conrod P (eds) Drug abuse and addiction in medical illness. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rioux C, Castellanos-Ryan N, Parent S, Vitaro F, Tremblay RE, Séguin JR (2016) Differential susceptibility to environmental influences: interactions between child temperament and parenting in adolescent alcohol use. Dev Psychopathol 28:265–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Castellanos-Ryan N, Struve M, Whelan R, Banaschewski T, Barker GJ, Bokde ALW et al (2014) Neural and cognitive correlates of the common and specific variance across externalizing problems in young adolescence. Am J Psychiatry 171:1310–1319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Barker ED, Trentacosta CJ, Salekin RT (2011) Are Impulsive adolescents differentially influenced by the good and bad of neighborhood and family? J Abnorm Psychol 120:981–986CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zuckerman M (1979) Sensation seeking: beyond the optimal level of arousal. Erlbaum, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Armstrong TD, Costello EJ (2002) Community studies on adolescent substance use, abuse, or dependence and psychiatric comorbidity. J Consult Clin Psychol 70:1224–1239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Mann FD, Kretsch N, Tackett JL, Harden KP, Tucker-Drob EM (2015) Person x environment interactions on adolescent delinquency: sensation seeking, peer deviance and parental monitoring. Personal Individ Differ 76:129–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Epstein M, Hill KG, Roe SS, Bailey JA, Iacono WG, McGue M et al (2017) Time-varying effects of families and peers on adolescent marijuana use: person-environment interactions across development. Dev Psychopathol 29:887–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Monroe SM, Simons AD (1991) Diathesis-stress theories in the context of life stress research: implications for the depressive disorders. Psychol Bull 110:406–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Roisman GI, Newman DA, Fraley RC, Haltigan JD, Groh AM, Haydon KC (2012) Distinguishing differential susceptibility from diathesis-stress: recommendations for evaluating interaction effects. Dev Psychopathol 24:389–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rioux C, Castellanos-Ryan N, Parent S, Séguin JR (2016) The interaction between temperament and the family environment in adolescent substance use and externalizing behaviors: support for diathesis-stress or differential susceptibility? Dev Rev 40:117–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Québec S, Jetté M, Desrosiers H, Tremblay RE (1997) “En 2001… j’aurai 5 ans!”, Enquête auprès des bébés de 5 mois. Rapport préliminaire de l’Étude longitudinale du développement des enfants du Québec (ÉLDEQ), MontréalGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Tremblay RE, Nagin DS, Séguin JR, Zoccolillo M, Zelazo PD, Boivin M et al (2004) Physical aggression during early childhood: trajectories and predictors. Pediatrics 114:E43–E50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Brendgen M, Vitaro F, Tremblay RE, Lavoie F (2001) Reactive and proactive aggression: predictions to physical violence in different contexts and moderating effects of parental monitoring and caregiving behavior. J Abnorm Child Psychol 29:293–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Castellanos-Ryan N, Séguin JR, Vitaro F, Parent S, Tremblay RE (2013) Impact of a 2-year multimodal intervention for disruptive 6-year-olds on substance use in adolescence: randomised controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry 203:188–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Woicik PA, Stewart SH, Pihl RO, Conrod PJ (2009) The substance use risk profile scale: a scale measuring traits linked to reinforcement-specific substance use profiles. Addict Behav 34:1042–1055CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Castonguay-Jolin L, Perrier-Menard E, Castellanos-Ryan N, Parent S, Vitaro F, Tremblay RE et al (2013) SURPS French version validation in a Quebec adolescent population. Can J Psychiatry 58:538–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Muthén LK, Muthén BO (1998–2012) MPlus user’s guide. Muthén & Muthén, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Kaplan D, Kim J-S, Kim S-Y (2009) Multilevel latent variable modeling: current research and recent developments. In: Millsap RE, Maydeu-Olivares A (eds) Handbook of quantitative methods in psychology. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Kochanska G, Kim S, Barry RA, Philibert RA (2011) Children’s genotypes interact with maternal responsive care in predicting children’s competence: diathesis-stress or differential susceptibility? Dev Psychopathol 23:605–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Magid V, Colder CR (2007) The UPPS impulsive behavior scale: factor structure and associations with college drinking. Personal Individ Differ 43:1927–1937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Coskunpinar A, Dir AL, Cyders MA (2013) Multidimensionality in impulsivity and alcohol use: a meta-analysis using the upps model of impulsivity. Alcohol-Clin Exp Res 37:1441–1450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Thompson K, Roemer A, Leadbeater B (2015) Impulsive personality, parental monitoring, and alcohol outcomes from adolescence through young adulthood. J Adolesc Health 57:320–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Roberti JW (2003) Biological responses to stressors and the role of personality. Life Sci 73:2527–2531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Frojd S, Kaltiala-Heino R, Rimpela M (2007) The association of parental monitoring and family structure with diverse maladjustment outcomes in middle adolescent boys and girls. Nord J Psychiatry 61:296–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Lai HMX, Cleary M, Sitharthan T, Hunt GE (2015) Prevalence of comorbid substance use, anxiety and mood disorders in epidemiological surveys, 1990–2014: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend 154:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Malczyk BR, Lawson HA (2017) Parental monitoring, the parent-child relationship and children’s academic engagement in mother-headed single-parent families. Child Youth Serv Rev 73:274–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Ying LH, Ma FL, Huang HH, Guo XL, Chen CS, Xu F (2015) Parental monitoring, parent-adolescent communication, and adolescents’ trust in their parents in China. PLoS ONE 10:9Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Vaughn BE, Waters TEA, Steele RD, Roisman GI, Bost KK, Truitt W et al (2016) Multiple domains of parental secure base support during childhood and adolescence contribute to adolescents’ representations of attachment as a secure base script. Attach Hum Dev 18:317–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Castellanos-Ryan N, Conrod P (2011) Personality correlates of the common and unique variance across conduct disorder and substance misuse symptoms in adolescence. J Abnorm Child Psychol 39:563–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Castellanos-Ryan N, Parent S, Vitaro F, Tremblay RE, Séguin JR (2013) Pubertal development, personality and substance use: a 10-year longitudinal study from childhood to adolescence. J Abnorm Psychol 122:782–796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Collado A, Felton JW, MacPherson L, Lejuez CW (2014) Longitudinal trajectories of sensation seeking, risk taking propensity, and impulsivity across early to middle adolescence. Addict Behav 39:1580–1588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    MacKillop J, Weafer J, Gray JC, Oshri A, Palmer A, de Wit H (2016) The latent structure of impulsivity: impulsive choice, impulsive action, and impulsive personality traits. Psychopharmacology 233:3361–3370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Van Ryzin MJ, Fosco GM, Dishion TJ (2012) Family and peer predictors of substance use from early adolescence to early adulthood: an 11-year prospective analysis. Addict Behav 37:1314–1324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Starr LR, Hammen C, Conway CC, Raposa E, Brennan PA (2014) Sensitizing effect of early adversity on depressive reactions to later proximal stress: moderation by polymorphisms in serotonin transporter and corticotropin releasing hormone receptor genes in a 20-year longitudinal study. Dev Psychopathol 26:1241–1254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Keers R, Pluess M (2017) Childhood quality influences genetic sensitivity to environmental influences across adulthood: a life-course gene × environment interaction study. Dev Psychopathol 29:1921–1933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Kumsta R, Stevens S, Brookes K, Schlotz W, Castle J, Beckett C et al (2010) 5HTT genotype moderates the influence of early institutional deprivation on emotional problems in adolescence: evidence from the English and Romanian Adoptee (ERA) study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 51:755–762CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Grabe HJ, Schwahn C, Mahler J, Schulz A, Spitzer C, Fenske K et al (2012) Moderation of adult depression by the serotonin transporter promoter variant (5-HTTLPR), childhood abuse and adult traumatic events in a general population sample. Am J Med Genet B 159B:298–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Aron EN, Aron A, Jagiellowicz J (2012) Sensory processing sensitivity: a review in the light of the evolution of biological responsivity. Pers Soc Psychol Rev 16:262–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Beaver KM, Belsky J (2012) Gene-environment interaction and the intergenerational transmission of parenting: testing the differential-susceptibility hypothesis. Psychiatry Q 83:29–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Graham JW (2009) Missing data analysis: making it work in the real world. Annu Rev Psychol 60:549–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Gustavson K, von Soest T, Karevold E, Roysamb E (2012) Attrition and generalizability in longitudinal studies: findings from a 15-year population-based study and a Monte Carlo simulation study. BMC Public Health 12:918–928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Hagman BT, Cohn AM, Noel NE, Clifford PR (2010) Collateral informant assessment in alcohol use research involving college students. J Am Coll Health 59:82–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Laforge RG, Borsari B, Baer JS (2005) The utility of collateral informant assessment in college alcohol research: results from a longitudinal prevention trial. J Stud Alcohol 66:479–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ, van IJzendoorn MH (2015) The hidden efficacy of interventions: gene × environment experiments from a differential susceptibility perspective. Annu Rev Psychol 66:381–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Cassidy J, Woodhouse SS, Sherman LJ, Stupica B, Lejuez CW (2011) Enhancing infant attachment security: an examination of treatment efficacy and differential susceptibility. Dev Psychopathol 23:131–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Scott S, O’Connor TG (2012) An experimental test of differential susceptibility to parenting among emotionally-dysregulated children in a randomized controlled trial for oppositional behavior. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 53:1184–1193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Slagt M, Dubas JS, van Aken MAG, Ellis BJ, Dekovic M (2017) Children’s differential susceptibility to parenting: an experimental test of “for better and for worse”. J Exp Child Psychol 154:78–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.CHU Ste-Justine Research CentreMontrealCanada
  3. 3.School of PsychoeducationUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations