Navigation Links
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 investigated such associations.

"Here we're looking at whether commitment to school, work or a romantic relationship predicts, decreases or even buffers against problems for people who, through personality or reduced cognitive capacity, might be at risk for excessive alcohol consumption," Bogg said.

Over two and a half years, researchers will examine patterns of change associated with social investment. The study also will track the interaction of brain activity and personality traits over time something very few researchers have tried, Bogg said.

A subset of subjects representing a full spectrum of alcohol consumption will complete a computerized balloon inflation task to examine reward-seeking cognitive control. The task requires subjects to decide whether to continue inflating a balloon based on an increasing wager amount. As in real life, the balloon can be overinflated and explode, resulting in a lost wager.

During the task, a magnetic resonance imaging scanner will be used to look at the medial prefrontal cortex of subjects' brains, an area thought to be involved in risk and reward appraisal, as well as performance monitoring, which involves updating future responses based on past outcomes.

"The idea is to see whether there are differences in brain activity depending on alcohol consumption and related levels of conscientiousness, social investment and cognitive ability," Bogg said. "We're also trying to see if we can predict change. The real question is, how do these things influence each other over time?"

The amount of engagement or involvement in normative roles might act as a buffer against alcohol abuse or dependence, he said. Many Wayne State students tend to have more outside commitments than participants in his previous study, and Bogg expects that to be reflected in the results.

The current study also aims to use the data to develop interventions that can help foster maturation by increasing normative social investment. Such interventions could last eight to 10 weeks and include a social cognitive psychology principle called "implementation intentions."

For example, Bogg said, when a student is tempted to go out on a Thursday night before an exam on Friday, that student can be taught to develop their own concrete and specific alternatives, such as planning and committing to study with a friend at a library or cafe.

Interventions also could involve inducements for social investment by clarifying individuals' goals and providing accountability for those goals.

"Some students come in with a good understanding of what it takes to succeed; others with no tools at all," Bogg said, noting that drinking can interfere with poorly formed goals.

"Bringing those goals to the fore can have two benefits," he said. "One is curtailing excessive alcohol consumption; the other is helping the person achieve those personal goals that relate to educational development and career aspirations."

Emerging adulthood is a relatively new life stage in the developed world, Bogg said. It can be a time of personal exploration and trying different roles without many serious consequences. However, as economic conditions stagnate and the job market becomes more competitive, he believes shortening that period could prove useful for some people.

"If maturing out of excessive alcohol use is a developmental process, then providing a little inducement and training to help people further commit to a role in which they're already engaged might help push them toward healthier drinking patterns and increased psychological maturity."


'/>"/>

Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Research identifies patterns of CD24, a novel biomarker for non-small cell lung carcinomas
2. Study finds law-like patterns in human preference behavior
3. Autistic Toddlers Prefer to Gaze at Geometric Patterns: Study
4. UNC researchers identify genetic patterns that may predict osteoarthritis
5. End-of-life care patterns shift for patients with heart failure in both US and Canada
6. Sleepless soldiers: Study suggests that military deployment affects sleep patterns
7. Military Deployment May Lead to Unhealthy Sleep Patterns
8. Understanding patterns of seafloor biomass
9. Dont Let Time Change Disrupt Your Sleep Patterns
10. Comprehensive UGA study reveals patterns in firefighter fatalities
11. Tiny cell patterns reveal the progression of development and disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... CO (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... serving the families and businesses of the greater Fort Collins area, has unveiled ... in their ongoing community involvement program. Donations to this worthy cause may now ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... After raising more ... FaceCradle , the most-funded travel pillow in crowdfunding history, has established a ... its wildly popular travel innovation to Americans. , “We’re excited to be operating on ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ?This conference will prominently feature 150+ Hospital and Health System Executive ... Healthcare: Susan Salka , 43rd President of the United States of America: George ... Life In and Out of the Ring: Sugar Ray Leonard , JD, Chairperson, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Sharon Kleyne, host of the nationally syndicated ... Health on VoiceAmerica, recently talked on her program about how she is looking forward ... remind listeners of an important distinction. World Water Day, Kleyne pointed out, is an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Natural Subsistence, a company known for ... and nutrition, announced its product Leyzene is now available for purchase on Go4ItNutrition.com, ... that help people improve all aspects of their health so they can live ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... SAN DIEGO , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... for fast and accurate identification of individuals who ... at risk for a rare yet potentially deadly ... seizures and bipolar disorder.  The gene HLA-B*15:02 ... hypersensitivity reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017 On ... the trading session at 5,821.64, up 0.48%; the ... finish at 20,661.30; and the S&P 500 closed ... based as six out of nine sectors ended ... initiated reports coverage on the following Medical Instruments ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 Pre-market ... MYL), Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN), Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ: HZNP), ... Generic Drugs stocks are part of the Healthcare sector, which ... nd , 2017, with the NYSE Health Care Index adding ... in the S&P 500 also were up nearly 0.1% as ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: