Previous studies have shown that substance misuse in adolescence is associated with increased risks of hospitalizations for mental and physical disorders, convictions for crimes, poverty, and premature death from age 21 to 50. The present study examined 180 adolescent boys and girls who sought treatment for substance misuse in Sweden. The adolescents and their parents were assessed independently when the adolescents first contacted the clinic to diagnose mental disorders and collect information on maltreatment and antisocial behavior. Official criminal files were obtained. Five years later, 147 of the ex-clients again completed similar assessments. The objectives were (1) to document the prevalence of alcohol use disorders (AUD) and drug use disorders (DUD) in early adulthood; and (2) to identify family and individual factors measured in adolescence that predicted these disorders, after taking account of AUD and DUD in adolescence and treatment. Results showed that AUD, DUD, and AUDÂ +Â DUD present in mid-adolescence were in most cases also present in early adulthood. Prediction models detected no positive effect of treatment in limiting persistence of these disorders. Thus, treatment-as-usual provided by the only psychiatric service for adolescents with substance misuse in a large urban center in Sweden failed to prevent the persistence of substance misuse. Despite extensive clinical assessments of the ex-clients and their parents, few factors assessed in mid-adolescence were associated with substance misuse disorders 5Â years later. It may be that family and individual factors in early life promote the mental disorders that precede adolescent substance misuse.
To investigate attrition of subjects in a longitudinal study of caries.
A radiographic study of caries and caries-associated factors was carried out in subjects, initially aged 14 years, and followed-up for six years. Attrition of subjects occurred at the last stage of the study.
A nationwide survey of subjects living in fishing, rural farming, and urban communities in Iceland.
A sub-sample of the nationwide random sample comprising 150 subjects was investigated using bitewing radiographs and a structured questionnaire to determine caries-risk factors. Subjects were re-examined at 16 years and 20 years using the same methods.
Mean caries increment from 14-16 years was 3.0 lesions (1.5 lesions/subject/year) but reduced to 2.6 lesions (0.7 lesions/subject/ year) by 20y. The proportion of subjects found to be caries-free at 14 years, 16 years and 20 years, was 29%, 17% and 10%, respectively. "Dropouts" from this study occurred mostly after 16 years. Analysis of subjects dropping out showed that they were least likely to be from the rural farming community but most likely from the fishing community. Those dropping out attended their dentist less frequently, had a higher consumption of carbonated drinks and a higher prevalence and incidence of caries by 16 years.
Subjects with high-risk behaviours, or residents in a fishing community were more likely to drop out of the study. Recognised advantages of conducting longitudinal studies of caries may, therefore, be lost.
Norwegian adolescents currently drink and smoke less on average than previous cohorts. Based on cross-sectional survey data, the individual and familial characteristics of 15-year-old non-users and users of alcohol and tobacco were compared to identify correlates to abstinence.
The survey was approved by the Norwegian Social Science Service. The sample consisted of 3107 adolescents from a 2011 school-based survey, of which 848 (27.3%) did not drink alcohol nor use tobacco. Associations with leisure time activities, risk perceptions, parenting style and social factors were analysed by logistic regression.
Most of the non-drinkers were also non-users of tobacco. Abstainers (neither alcohol nor tobacco use) tended to have less unorganized and more hobby-related leisure time activities, higher risk perceptions for smoking, and monitoring or emotionally supportive parents. They more rarely reported close relationships with their best friend and were more likely to report lower occurrences of drinking and smoking among friends or siblings.
Differences in perceived parenting styles and a lower degree of unorganized leisure in the abstainer group points to monitoring and closer emotional ties between parents and children as important factors in adolescent abstinence. An implication of these results is that promoting hobby-based activities might be a useful strategy for preventing alcohol and tobacco use in young people.
Poor academic achievement is strongly related to smoking but studies that examine the mechanism between academic achievement and smoking are lacking. The aim of this study, therefore, was to examine the smoking-related cognitions (i.e. attitude, social influence, self-efficacy and intention to smoke) in relation to academic achievement and determine whether these cognitions explain different patterns of smoking.
The study uses the data of a longitudinal study that was carried out in Finland, and the sample comprised 1,096 students in grades seven to nine.
During the seventh-grade students with poor academic achievement reported more positive attitudes to smoking and a greater social influence of their peers regarding smoking, weaker self-efficacy to refuse smoking and more intentions to smoke in the future compared to students with high academic achievement. Moreover, the follow-up analyses after a 24-month interval revealed that self-efficacy to refuse smoking of students with poor grades had become weaker compared to students with high grades. Furthermore, the influence of seventh-grade academic achievement predicting ninth-grade weekly smoking was partially mediated through the self-efficacy beliefs and the intention to smoke.
Differences in academic achievement may have an impact on adolescents' self-efficacy beliefs and the intention to smoke in the future. To reduce health inequalities a strong input on continuing research to improve smoking prevention methods, especially for students with low academic achievement, is needed.
Delayed sleep phase (DSP) in adolescence has been linked to reduced academic performance, but there are few population-based studies examining this association using validated sleep measures and objective outcomes.
The youth@hordaland-survey, a large population-based study from Norway conducted in 2012, surveyed 8347 high-school students aged 16-19 years (54% girls). DSP was assessed by self-report sleep measures, and it was operationalized according to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders - Second Edition. School performance (grade point average, GPA) was obtained from official administrative registries, and it was linked individually to health data.
DSP was associated with increased odds for poor school performance. After adjusting for age and gender, DSP was associated with a threefold increased odds of poor GPA (lowest quartile) [odds ratio (OR)?=?2.95; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.03-4.30], and adjustment for sociodemographics and lifestyle factors did not, or only slightly, attenuate this association. Adjustment for nonattendance at school reduced the association substantially, and in the fully adjusted model, the effect of DSP on poor academic performance was reduced to a non-significant level. Mediation analyses confirmed both direct and significant indirect effects of DSP on school performance based on school absence, daytime sleepiness, and sleep duration.
Poor academic performance may reflect an independent effect of underlying circadian disruption, which in part could be mediated by school attendance, as well as daytime sleepiness and short sleep duration. This suggests that careful assessment of sleep is warranted in addressing educational difficulties.
Testosterone is an important hormone in the sexual differentiation of the brain, contributing to differences in cognitive abilities between males and females. For instance, studies in clinical populations such as females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) who are exposed to high levels of androgens in utero support arguments for prenatal testosterone effects on characteristics such as visuospatial cognition and behaviour. The comparison of opposite-sex (OS) and same-sex (SS) twin pairs can be used to help establish the role of prenatal testosterone. However, although some twin studies confirm a masculinizing effect of a male co-twin regarding for instance perception and cognition it remains unclear whether intra-uterine hormone transfer exists in humans. Our aim was to test the potential influences of testosterone on academic performance in OS twins. We compared ninth-grade test scores and teacher ratings of OS (n=1812) and SS (n=4054) twins as well as of twins and singletons (n=13,900) in mathematics, physics/chemistry, Danish, and English. We found that males had significantly higher test scores in mathematics than females (.06-.15 SD), whereas females performed better in Danish (.33-.49 SD), English (.20 SD), and neatness (.45-.64 SD). However, we did not find that OS females performed better in mathematics than SS and singleton females, nor did they perform worse either in Danish or English. Scores for OS and SS males were similar in all topics. In conclusion, this study did not provide evidence for a masculinization of female twins with male co-twins with regard to academic performance in adolescence.
Cites: Behav Genet. 1993 Jul;23(4):323-98240211
Cites: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Dec 15;90(24):11900-48265645
Successful academic performance during adolescence is a key predictor of lifetime achievement, including occupational and social success. The present study investigated the important transition from primary to secondary schooling during early adolescence, when academic performance among youth often declines. The goal of the study was to understand how risk factors, specifically lower family resources and male gender, threaten academic success following this "critical transition" in schooling. The study involved a longitudinal examination of the predictors of academic performance in grades 7-8 among 127 (56 % girls) French-speaking Quebec (Canada) adolescents from lower-income backgrounds. As hypothesized based on transition theory, hierarchical regression analyses showed that supportive parenting and specific academic, social and behavioral competencies (including spelling ability, social skills, and lower levels of attention problems) predicted success across this transition among at-risk youth. Multiple-mediation procedures demonstrated that the set of compensatory factors fully mediated the negative impact of lower family resources on academic success in grades 7-8. Unique mediators (social skills, spelling ability, supportive parenting) also were identified. In addition, the "gender gap" in performance across the transition could be attributed statistically to differences between boys and girls in specific competencies observed prior to the transition, as well as differential parenting (i.e., support from mother) towards girls and boys. The present results contribute to our understanding of the processes by which established risk factors, such as low family income and gender impact development and academic performance during early adolescence. These "transitional" processes and subsequent academic performance may have consequences across adolescence and beyond, with an impact on lifetime patterns of achievement and occupational success.