To investigate longitudinally for both genders the relation between the age of onset of drinking and several indicators of alcohol use.
In the Finnish Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development, data have been collected by interviews, inventories, and questionnaires. Data on alcohol consumption was gathered at ages 14, 20, 27, 36 and 42 years; behavioural data at age 8.
A total of 155 women and 176 men; 90.4% of the original sample consisting of 12 complete school classes in 1968.
The age of onset of drinking was determined based on participants' responses that were closest to the actual age of onset of drinking. Four indicators of the adult use of alcohol were used: frequency of drinking, binge drinking, Cut-down, Annoyed, Guilt, Eye-opener (CAGE) and Malmö modified Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (Mm-MAST). Socio-emotional behaviour at age 8 was assessed using teacher ratings and peer nominations.
Early onset of drinking was related to the four indicators of the use of alcohol in adulthood both in men and women. The level of adult alcohol use and alcohol problems was significantly higher in men. The risk for heavy drinking was highest in men and women if drinking was started at less than age 16 years. Socio-emotional behaviour and school success at age 8 did not predict the age of onset of drinking.
Delaying the initiation of drinking from early adolescence to late adolescence is an important goal for prevention efforts. No clear risk group for early initiators of drinking could be identified on the basis of preceding behaviour among 8-year-olds.
Comment In: Evid Based Ment Health. 2005 Nov;8(4):9816246874
Overweight in children and adolescents has reached dimensions of a global epidemic during recent years. Simultaneously, information and communication technology use has rapidly increased.
A population-based sample of Finnish twins born in 1983-1987 (N = 4098) was assessed by self-report questionnaires at 17 y during 2000-2005. The association of overweight (defined by Cole's BMI-for-age cut-offs) with computer and cell phone use and ownership was analyzed by logistic regression and their association with BMI by linear regression models. The effect of twinship was taken into account by correcting for clustered sampling of families. All models were adjusted for gender, physical exercise, and parents' education and occupational class.
The proportion of adolescents who did not have a computer at home decreased from 18% to 8% from 2000 to 2005. Compared to them, having a home computer (without an Internet connection) was associated with a higher risk of overweight (odds ratio 2.3, 95% CI 1.4 to 3.8) and BMI (beta coefficient 0.57, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.98). However, having a computer with an Internet connection was not associated with weight status. Belonging to the highest quintile (OR 1.8 95% CI 1.2 to 2.8) and second-highest quintile (OR 1.6 95% CI 1.1 to 2.4) of weekly computer use was positively associated with overweight. The proportion of adolescents without a personal cell phone decreased from 12% to 1% across 2000 to 2005. There was a positive linear trend of increasing monthly phone bill with BMI (beta 0.18, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.30), but the association of a cell phone bill with overweight was very weak.
Time spent using a home computer was associated with an increased risk of overweight. Cell phone use correlated weakly with BMI. Increasing use of information and communication technology may be related to the obesity epidemic among adolescents.
In contrast to many phenotypes that have been studied using twin designs, substance use shows considerable evidence of environmental influence. Accordingly, specifying the relevant environments and understanding the nature of their effects is an important research priority. Twin studies also have demonstrated that the importance of genetic and environmental influences varies across development for a variety of behavioral outcomes, including substance use. Here, we report analyses exploring moderating effects associated with parenting and peer characteristics on adolescent smoking and drinking, measured at ages 14 and 17. We find significant evidence of moderating effects associated with two dimensions of parenting (parental monitoring and time spent in activities with parents) on adolescent smoking, measured at two time points across development, but no moderating effects on adolescent drinking. Genetic influences on smoking increased, and common environmental effects decreased, as adolescents reported less parental monitoring and spending more time with their parents. Conversely, we find evidence that adolescent drinking is more strongly influenced by peer characteristics. The importance of genetic predispositions was increased among adolescents who reported more friends who used alcohol. These analyses illustrate the importance of incorporating measured aspects of the environment into genetically informative twin models to begin to understand how specific environments are related to various outcomes. Furthermore, they illustrate the importance of using a developmental perspective to understand how specific influences may vary across different ages, and across different phenotypes.
Department of Public Health , Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services , National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
Studies suggest that better cognitive and verbal abilities in childhood predict earlier experimentation with alcohol and higher levels of drinking in adolescence, whereas poorer ability is related to a higher likelihood of remaining abstinent. Whether individual differences in language development in childhood predict differences in adolescent drinking behaviors has not been studied.
To address that question, we compared co-twins from twin pairs discordant for their childhood language development and studied associations of parental reports of within-pair differences in age at speaking words, age at learning to read, and expressive language skills during school age with self-reported within-pair differences in drinking, intoxication, and alcohol-related problems across adolescence and young adulthood. Data from 2 longitudinal population-based samples of twin families were used, with verbal developmental differences in childhood reported by the parents when the twins were 12 and 16 years of age, respectively.
Conditional logistic regression analyses and within-pair correlation analyses suggested positive associations between verbal development and drinking behaviors in both data sets. In analyses adjusted for birth order and birth weight, the co-twin reported to be verbally more advanced in childhood tended to report more frequent drinking and intoxication in adolescence in both samples. Better verbal development also was associated with the likelihood of having friends who drink in adolescence.
These findings suggest that, adjusting for familial and other factors shared by co-twins, better verbal development in childhood predicts more frequent drinking and intoxication in adolescence and young adulthood, possibly due, in part, to peer associations.
To prospectively examine the role of childhood and adulthood factors in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and adult systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP).
One hundred and five boys and 101 girls who were 8 years of age at entry into the study were observed for 34 years in the JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤ Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development, Finland. Data were gathered on educational attainment and occupational status, as indicators of SES, and potential explanatory factors related to 0, (14), 27, 36, and 42 years of age. SBP and DBP were assessed at 15 and 42 years of age.
In a structural equation model adjusted for sex and childhood SBP, educational attainment was inversely associated with adult SBP (structural coefficient -0.17, p
Using data from two American and one Finnish long-term longitudinal studies, we examined continuity of general aggression from age 8 to physical aggression in early adulthood (age 21-30) and whether continuity of aggression differed by country, sex, and parent occupational status. In all samples, childhood aggression was assessed via peer nominations and early adulthood aggression via self-reports. Multi-group structural equation models revealed significant continuity in aggression in the American samples but not in the Finnish sample. These relations did not differ by sex but did differ by parent occupational status: whereas there was no significant continuity among American children from professional family-of-origin backgrounds, there was significant continuity among American children from non-professional backgrounds.
The present study investigated the factor structure of the 10-item version of the Dutch Work Addiction Scale (DUWAS). The DUWAS-10 is intended to measure workaholism with two correlated factors: working excessively (WE) and working compulsively (WC). The factor structure of the DUWAS-10 was examined among multi-occupational samples from the Netherlands (n=9,010) and Finland (n=4,567) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). CFAs revealed that the expected correlated two-factor solution showed satisfactory fit to the data. However, a second-order factor solution, where WE comprised the first-order factors "working frantically" and "working long hours", and WC the first-order factors "obsessive work drive" and "unease if not working", showed significantly better fit to the data. The expectation of factorial group invariance of the second-order factor structure between the Dutch and Finnish samples was also supported. Moreover, factorial time invariance was observed across a two-year time lag in a sub-sample of Finnish managers (n=459). In conclusion, the DUWAS-10 was found to be a comprehensive measure of workaholism, meeting the criteria of factorial validity in multiple settings, and can thus be recommended for use in both research and practice.
Studies of singletons suggest that right-handed individuals may have higher levels of testosterone than do left-handed individuals. Prenatal testosterone levels are hypothesised to be especially related to handedness formation. In humans, female members from opposite-sex twin pairs may experience elevated level of prenatal exposure to testosterone in their intrauterine environment shared with a male. We tested for differences in rates of left-handedness/right-handedness in female twins from same-sex and opposite-sex twin pairs. Our sample consisted of 4736 subjects, about 70% of all Finnish twins born in 1983-1987, with information on measured pregnancy and birth related factors. Circulating testosterone and estradiol levels at age 14 were available on 771 and 744 of these twins, respectively. We found significantly (p=.006) lower prevalence of left-handedness in females from opposite-sex pairs (5.3%) compared to females from same-sex pairs (8.6%). The circulating levels of neither testosterone nor estradiol related to handedness in either females or males. Nor were there differences in circulating testosterone or estradiol levels between females from opposite-sex and same-sex twin pairs. Birth and pregnancy related factors for which we had information were unrelated to handedness. Our results are difficult to fully explain by postnatal factors, but they offer support to theory that relates testosterone to formation of handedness, and in a population-based sample, are suggestive of effects of prenatal testosterone transfer.
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Depressive symptoms and alcohol use are frequently positively associated during adolescence. This study aimed to assess the heritability of each phenotype across adolescence; to assess potential shared liabilities; to examine changes in the nature of shared liabilities across adolescence; and to investigate potential causal relationships between depressive symptoms and alcohol use. We studied a longitudinally assessed sample of adolescent Finnish twins (N = 1,282) to test hypotheses about genetic and environmental influences on these phenotypes within and across ages, using data from assessments at ages 12, 14, and 17.5 years. The heritability of depressive symptoms is consistent across adolescence (~40-50%), with contributions from common and unique environmental factors. The heritability of alcohol use varies across time (a(2) = .25-.44), and age 14 alcohol use is heavily influenced by shared environmental factors. Genetic attenuation and innovation were observed across waves. Modest to moderate genetic (r(A) = .26-.59) and environmental (r(C) = .30-.63) correlations between phenotypes exist at all ages, but decrease over time. Tests for causal relationships between traits differed across ages and sexes. Intrapair MZ difference tests provided evidence for reciprocal causation in girls at ages 14 and 17.5. Formal causal models suggested significant causal relationships between the variables in both boys and girls. The association between depressive symptoms and alcohol use during adolescence is likely due to a combination of shared genetic and environmental influences and causal influences. These influences are also temporally dynamic, complicating efforts to understand factors contributing to the relationship between these outcomes.
This study investigated the developmental trajectories of work-family conflict among the same participants (n = 277; 48% female) at ages 36, 42, and 50. Across this 14-year time span, with respect to the sample as a whole, there was no significant change in the mean levels of work-to-family conflict (WFC) or family to-work conflict (FWC). However, latent profile analyses revealed four latent trajectories within the sample, showing both mean-level stability and change in WFC and FWC: (1) "WFC decreasing" (n = 151); (2) "WFC and FWC stable low" (n = 105); (3) "WFC and FWC increasing" (n = 14); and (4) "FWC decreasing" (n = 7). Of these trajectories the strongest contrast existed between the WFC and FWC stable low and the WFC and FWC increasing trajectories: the former had the lowest and the latter the highest number of weekly working hours at ages 36, 42, and 50, and in the former but not in the latter the number of children living at home significantly decreased from age 36 to 50. Also, at ages 42 and 50 the WFC and FWC increasing trajectory showed higher job exhaustion and depressive symptoms than the WFC and FWC stable low trajectory. Altogether these findings suggest that work-family conflict is not limited to the early part of employees' working career and that developmental trajectories of work-family conflict exhibit a substantial amount of heterogeneity.