Studies on alcohol habits : development and problems in a birth cohort of Swedish males
Sammanfattning: This work addresses several aspects of alcohol habits and problems in a male birth cohort. The studies focus on the prevalence of problematic alcohol use, different drinking patterns and the longitudinal development towards problematic alcohol use. The analysis concerns the male half (n=122) of a longitudinal study of individuals born between 1955-58 and prospectively followed from birth to young middle age. The results can be summarized as follows. 1) A high proportion of the participants presented an alcohol problem both according to a broad operational definition (approximately 22 percent) and according to a tentative DSM-III classification of abuse or dependence (approximately 11 percent). 2) There was a positive but modest association between consumption habits in adolescence and young middle age. The continuity in consumption could be attributed to subjects who retained their binge drinking practices from adolescence until young middle age; the explanatory value of drinking habits in adolescence and early adulthood could be further enhanced by including the consideration of drinking patterns and by focusing on data from more than two points in time. 3) A temperament profile including extraversion at age 4 was positively correlated with alcohol consumption and alcohol problems as an adult, indicating that one pathway towards problematic alcohol use may have a very early onset. Further, psychosocial characteristics at age 10 could to some extent differentiate between future alcohol use pathways. The results are compared with other prevalence studies and discussed in relations to existing typologies and developmental theories.
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