METHODS AND TECHNIQUES
Association among different measures of alcohol use across adolescence and emerging adulthood
Article first published online: 27 FEB 2014
© 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 109, Issue 6, pages 894–903, June 2014
How to Cite
Thompson, K., Stockwell, T., Leadbeater, B. and Homel, J. (2014), Association among different measures of alcohol use across adolescence and emerging adulthood. Addiction, 109: 894–903. doi: 10.1111/add.12499
- Issue published online: 5 MAY 2014
- Article first published online: 27 FEB 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 28 JAN 2014 05:56AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 18 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 14 MAR 2013
- Canadian Institute for Health Research. Grant Numbers: 838-20000-075, 79917, 93533
- Canadian Institute for Health Research Doctoral Award. Grant Number: 104612
- latent growth modeling;
- young adult
Background and Aims
The use of alterative alcohol indices in developmental research may generate conflicting findings in the literature. This study examined the longitudinal associations among four indices of alcohol involvement from ages 15 to 25 years and examined their concurrent associations with alcohol-related problems in emerging adulthood.
Data are from the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey, a five-wave multi-cohort study conducted biennially in Victoria, Canada between 2003 and 2011.
Setting and Participants
This study included a subsample of 637 randomly recruited Canadian adolescents, aged 15–25 years.
Four indices of alcohol use were compared using multivariate piecewise growth modeling: frequency, usual quantity, heavy episodic drinking and volume.
All indices increased on average from ages 15 to 21, peaked at approximately age 21, and gradually declined from ages 21 to 25. Levels of use at age 21 were highly correlated across indices (r = 0.63–0.94, P < 0.001), but correlations among rates of change varied between pairs of indices. Heavy episodic drinking and volume had the strongest correlations over time (r = 0.64–0.81, P < 0.001) and accounted for the greatest variance in alcohol use disorder symptoms (R2 = 0.35) and social and health consequences (R2 = 16) in emerging adulthood. Frequency and quantity had the weakest associations during adolescence (r = 0.49, P = 0.001) and were uncorrelated during emerging adulthood (r = 0.23, P = 0.09).
Among Canadian youth aged 15–25 years, measures of heavy episodic drinking and volume are the most strongly correlated over time and account for greater variance in alcohol-related problems in emerging adulthood than either frequency or quantity alone.