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Title: Adolescent drinking patterns : associations between alcohol consumption and neuropsychological development
Author: Rose, Hannah Elspeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 272X
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Background and rationale: Adolescence presents a unique time of neurodevelopment, whereby the use of alcohol may have detrimental consequences for brain structures and neurological functioning. Adolescent drinking patterns have been largely formulated using measures designed for adult populations, which may lack the fine-grained characterisations, which might theoretically more likely lead to neuropsychological impairment in this group. Methods: This study explored the prevalence and nature of alcohol use drawing from the SIPS Junior research programme (n=5576) a screening and prevalence survey of alcohol consumption in adolescents (10-17yrs) attending Emergency Departments in England and IMAGEN, (n=1557) a European research project examining risk taking behaviours in teenagers (14yrs). Metrics of alcohol use were formulated into latent class structures aimed to represent the heterogeneity of drinking behaviours. Associations between latent classes and a range of outcomes of harm and neuropsychological function tasks were examined. Findings: Results revealed 39.3% of SIPS Junior participants had consumed alcohol in their lifetime and had a mean age of onset of 12.88 years (SD 2.19). A total of 76.6% of IMAGEN participants reported having ever consumed alcohol and revealed a mean age of onset of 12.44 years (SD 1.02). Subgroups characterised by beverage type consumption were associated with varying levels of risk of harms with observed differences between genders. In addition, latent classes characterised by unit consumption, onset, intoxication, AUDIT-C scores and drinking days in both data sets and across all countries were examined. Varying levels of harm were associated with class membership demonstrating observed differences between genders. IMAGEN results revealed differences in neuropsychological functioning tasks involved in attention and memory in adolescents identified as higher risk drinkers. Conclusions: Adolescents, characterised by a limited number of drinking indicators were found to be associated with a range of harms and neuropsychological function tasks. Latent class formulations offered insight as to how these drinking typologies may present neuropsychologically at a time when a young person may be making decisions around their future course.
Supervisor: Drummond, Colin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available