Navigation Links
Feelings of immaturity accompany alcohol misuse into adulthood; discovery could improve treatments

COLUMBIA, Mo. Tipping back one too many cocktails during an individual's early 20s doesn't correlate to a personal sense of immaturity; however if this habit doesn't stop as they reach age 30, young adults can feel psychologically underdeveloped, according to a University of Missouri study. Helping young adults acknowledge their mental impulse to "sober up" as they mature can improve substance abuse intervention programs.

"When a heavy drinking 30-year-old comes in for therapy and says he doesn't feel like an adult, we can present this study and suggest that cutting back on alcohol could help him feel more mature," said lead researcher Rachel Winograd, a doctoral student in psychology at MU.

"People in their early 20s who accept their own heavy drinking and experience alcohol-related consequences may not realize that these behaviors can be associated with identity issues later on," said Winograd. "We can apply this research to nip the problem in the bud and help young adults become aware that their alcohol use behaviors may conflict with their long-term goals."

When more than 400 25-years-old adults were interviewed, some showed signs of alcohol use problems, but their problems didn't correlate to self-reported feelings of immaturity. When surveyed again four years later at age 29 and then again at age 35, subjects expressed different sentiments: individuals who showed signs of alcohol abuse or dependence also self-reported feeling immature for their age.

"We interpreted our findings to suggest that, at 25, drinking is more culturally acceptable," Winograd said. "Young adults are out at the bars with their friends and drinking is a bonding experience. They also view blacking out, vomiting and drunk driving as more acceptable because peers are behaving similarly.

"But by 29, when many of their peers have settled down, individuals who still drink heavily may start to view themselves as 'Peter Pans' of partying, who never fully matured," Winograd said.

The study relied on data collected from a group, which was studied since they were college freshmen in 1987 by Kenneth Sher, Winograd's adviser, study co-author and curators' distinguished professor of psychological sciences. Previous studies examined this group's attitudes toward drinking when they were younger.

"This study picked up where studies of adolescents left off," Winograd said, "There seems to be a window of time in the early to mid-20s when drinking is not associated with immaturity. Before and after that window, excessive alcohol use is associated with a lower self-reporting of maturity, according to our results and previous studies."

Having data from previous studies going back to 1987 about the same group of young adults was an important resource for the new study. Unless there has been a major cultural shift in attitudes, examining the same group as they mature over the years is almost always better for this type of study than surveying different age groups at the same time, said Sher.

"Most critically, it allows us to assume that age differences in the size or direction of an effect is associated with developmental change and not related to sampling biases associated with sampling two different age groups," said Sher.

The study "Do People Who 'Mature Out' of Drinking See Themselves as More Mature?" was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. In addition to Winograd and Sher, psychology doctoral student Andrew Littlefield also was an author.


Contact: Timothy Wall
University of Missouri-Columbia

Related medicine news :

1. He loves me, he loves me not...: Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear
2. Can blocking a frown keep bad feelings at bay?
3. Brain responses of obese individuals are more weakly linked to feelings of hunger
4. Some Women Lack Strong Feelings About Motherhood
5. Bullying May Accompany Drive to Be Popular
6. Two Jackson & Coker Executives to Accompany Medical Missions Brigade to Honduras
7. 12-Step Meetings May Help Teens Beat Alcohol, Drug Abuse
8. Caring Teachers May Help Keep Kids From Trying Alcohol, Drugs
9. Middle school teacher support lowers risk for early alcohol use
10. Obesity may modify the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer
11. National guardsmen face a high risk of developing alcohol abuse problems following deployment
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Feelings of immaturity accompany alcohol misuse into adulthood; discovery could improve treatments
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens ... Disorder, Bruxism, and moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the benefits ... great success Botox® delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Evanston, IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... homage to six decades of music, friendships, and learning in its 65th Anniversary ... be held Dec. 5-6. , For 65 years, Brillianteen has been ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ... below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities ... released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... "When I underwent ... bras were incredibly uncomfortable," said an inventor from Bronx, N.Y. "In order to ... the patent-pending RECOVERY BRA for added comfort and support. The bra is easier ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Many people know of the common symptoms of low thyroid hormone (also known ... people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are creeping up are more likely ... don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid hormone plays a major role ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Allergan ... pharmaceutical company, and Rugen Therapeutics, a start-up  biotechnology ... for unmet CNS disorders and funded by the ... they have entered into an exclusive collaboration to ... for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Mindray Medical ... MR ), a leading developer, ... worldwide, today announced that it will ... of shareholders at the Company,s Hong Kong office ... Prince Edward West Road, Mongkok KL, Hong ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "Global ...  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "Global Drug ...  report to their offering.  --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: