The Development of Externalizing and Internalizing Behaviors Among Youth With or Without a Family History of Substance Use Disorder: The Indirect Effects of Early-Life Stress and Impulsivity

A. M. Wasserman, J. Wimmer, N. Hill-Kapturczak, T. E. Karns-Wright, C. W. Mathias, Donald M Dougherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Youth with a family history of substance use disorder (FH+) are more prone to have externalizing and internalizing problems compared to youth without a family history of substance use disorder (FH−), increasing the likelihood of later maladjustment. However, mechanisms for this association remain understudied. In this longitudinal study, we examined if FH+ youth are more likely to experience early-life stressors (ELS), which in turn would increase impulsivity and the expression of externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Data were collected from youth and a parent (n = 386) during a baseline assessment (age 10–12 years) and every six months when the youth was 13–16 years old. In support of the primary hypothesis, FH+ youth reported higher levels of externalizing and internalizing behaviors through ELS to impulsivity providing a developmental pathway through which FH+ youth are more prone to externalizing and internalizing problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • At-risk youth
  • Early-life stress
  • Externalizing behavior
  • Impulsivity
  • Internalizing behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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