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Predicting Risky Drinking Outcomes Longitudinally: What Kind of Advance Notice Can We Get?


  • The work of RAZ, MMW, and colleagues was supported by NIAAA Grants R 37 AA07065 and R01 AA12217, of DBC and JRC by Grants K02 AA00291 and NIDA Grants P50 DA05605 and R01-DA14635, of KEL and GGH by NIAAA Grant R37 AA09922, and of JES and colleagues by NIDA Grant R01 DA01411 (The Monitoring the Future Study).

Reprint requests: Robert A. Zucker, University of Michigan Addiction Research Center, 2025 Traverwood Dr. Ste A, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; Fax: (734) 998-7992; E-mail:


This paper summarizes the proceedings of a symposium presented at the 2005 Research Society on Alcoholism meeting in Santa Barbara, California, that spans the interval from toddlerhood to early middle adulthood and addresses questions about how far ahead developmentally we can anticipate alcohol problems and related substance use disorder and how such work informs our understanding of the causes and course of alcohol problems and alcohol use disorder. The context of these questions both historically and developmentally is set by Robert Zucker in an introductory section. Next, Maria Wong and colleagues describe the developmental trajectories of behavioral and affective control from preschool to early adolescence in a high risk for alcoholism longitudinal study and demonstrate their ability to predict alcohol and drug outcomes in adolescence. Duncan Clark and Jack Cornelius follow with a report on the predictive utility of parental disruptive behavior disorders in predicting onset of alcohol problems in their adolescent offspring in late adolescence. Next, Kenneth Leonard and Gregory Homish report on adult development study findings relating baseline individual, spouse, and peer network drinking indicators at marriage onset that distinguish different patterns of stability and change in alcohol problems over the first 2 years of marriage. In the final paper, John Schulenberg and colleagues, utilizing national panel data from the Monitoring the Future Study, which cover the 18- to 35-year age span, show how trajectories of alcohol use in early adulthood predict differential alcohol abuse and dependence outcomes at age 35. Finally, Robert Zucker examines the degree to which the core symposium questions are answered and comments on next step research and clinical practice changes that are called for by these findings.

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