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WSU researches patterns of heavy alcohol use and life commitments in at-risk young adults
Date:5/8/2012

DETROIT A Wayne State University researcher believes a better understanding of risk factors for excessive alcohol use may one day help at-risk adolescents transition more quickly to healthier and more productive behavior patterns in young adulthood.

To further that understanding, Tim Bogg, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in WSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has received a three-year, $731,000 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health. Through "A Longitudinal Study of Alcohol Dependence in Late Adolescence" he will investigate the influences of conscientiousness-related personality traits, cognitive ability and social investment on patterns of excessive alcohol use over time. He also will examine how specific brain regions might play a role in reward-seeking behaviors.

Recent decades have given rise to what Bogg calls "extended adolescence," an increasingly longer time span when many young people begin making personal and social investments in their education, careers and personal relationships. Such commitments can be affected by excessive alcohol use and related problems, such as drug use, conduct or antisocial personality problems. Research has shown that people with such problems tend to display reduced self-control, responsibility, intelligence, short-term memory, and ability to successfully shift attention.

The social investment hypothesis Bogg will test holds that individual differences in development during late adolescence and young adulthood are influenced by participating in and committing to normative social roles. Meeting expectations of roles such as college student, employee or romantic partner leads to positive reinforcements that reward more controlled, plan-oriented and reliable behaviors and tendencies.

His current study extends his work at Indiana University, where he earned his doctoral degree in 2006, which also investig
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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