Adults with a family history of alcohol related problems are more impulsive on measures of response initiation and response inhibition

Ashley Acheson, Dawn M. Richard, Charles W. Mathias, Donald M. Dougherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have found individuals with family histories of alcohol use disorders are more impulsive on some but not all laboratory behavioral measures, suggesting deficits on specific forms of impulse control. However, drawing conclusions is tenuous because these different measures have not been administered together in the same group of participants. Methods: In the present study, we compared healthy 21-35 year old adults with family histories of alcohol related problems (FHAP+) or without such histories (FHAP-) on behavioral measures of response inhibition, response initiation, and consequence sensitivity impulsivity. FHAP+ (n= 36) and FHAP- (n= 36) participants were compared on performance on the Immediate Memory Task (IMT, response initiation), GoStop Impulsivity Paradigm (GoStop, response inhibition), Two Choice Impulsivity Paradigm (TCIP, consequence sensitivity) and Single Key Impulsivity Paradigm (SKIP, consequence sensitivity). Results: FHAP+ individuals were more impulsive on the IMT and GoStop but not on the TCIP or SKIP. Conclusions: These results suggest that response initiation and response inhibition impulsivity are increased in individuals with family histories of alcohol related problems despite not having alcohol or drug use disorders themselves. In contrast, increased consequence sensitivity impulsivity may be associated with additional risk factors such as more severe family histories of alcohol use disorders, or it may be increased as a consequence of heavy drug or alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-203
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume117
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Family history
  • Impulsivity
  • Risk
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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