Hot Publication - Molina & Colleagues

Change Over Time in Adolescent and Friend Alcohol Use:
Differential Associations for Youth With and Without Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Belendiuk KA, Pedersen SL, King KM, Pelham WE and Molina BS
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 2015, Published Online

Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for experiencing alcohol-related problems by adulthood. However, few studies have examined contextual factors that may contribute to this risk. 

Dr. Brooke Molina is the senior author of a recent article appearing in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors that examined one widely investigated social-contextual risk factor - friend alcohol use - in a sample of adolescents with and without a history of ADHD. One hundred and 59 adolescents with childhood ADHD ages 14-17 years old and 117 demographically similar youth without ADHD were interviewed annually in the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study. Adolescents reported the frequency of their own alcohol use in the prior 12 months and the number of friends who used alcohol regularly or occasionally (perceived friend alcohol use).  Multiple-group parallel process models indicated that increases in friend alcohol use were more strongly associated with increases in adolescent alcohol use over time for individuals with ADHD than for those without ADHD. 

The results from this project suggest that social factors are an important part of escalating alcohol use among adolescents with ADHD histories, and they highlight the possibility that interventions focused on the peer context could be important for these at-risk youth. They also demonstrate the need for additional social network research on adolescent alcohol use within the larger context of other relationships such as family and romantic relationships.

Brooke S.G. Molina, PhD and Sarah L. Pedersen, PhD (Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh)

Katherine Belendiuk, PhD (National Center for PTSD, Center for Innovation to Implementation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System)

Kevin M. King, DO (Department of Psychology, University of Washington)

William E. Pelham, PhD (Department of Psychology, Florida International University)

This article appeared in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.  Click here to view the abstract.