Patterns and predictors of alcohol misuse trajectories from adolescence through early midlife


Stephenson, Mallory; Barr, Peter; Thomas, Nathaniel; Cooke, Megan; Latvala, Antti; Rose, Richard J.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Dick, Danielle; & Salvatore, Jessica E. (2024). Patterns and predictors of alcohol misuse trajectories from adolescence through early midlife. Development and Psychopathology. pp. 1-17


We took a multilevel developmental contextual approach and characterized trajectories of alcohol misuse from adolescence through early midlife, examined genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in those trajectories, and identified adolescent and young adult factors associated with change in alcohol misuse. Data were from two longitudinal population-based studies. FinnTwin16 is a study of Finnish twins assessed at 16, 17, 18, 25, and 35 years (N = 5659; 52% female; 32% monozygotic). The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) is a study of adolescents from the United States, who were assessed at five time points from 1994 to 2018 (N = 18026; 50% female; 64% White, 21% Black, 4% Native American, 7% Asian, 9% Other race/ethnicity). Alcohol misuse was measured as frequency of intoxication in FinnTwin16 and frequency of binge drinking in Add Health. In both samples, trajectories of alcohol misuse were best described by a quadratic growth curve: Alcohol misuse increased across adolescence, peaked in young adulthood, and declined into early midlife. Individual differences in these trajectories were primarily explained by environmental factors. Several adolescent and young adult correlates were related to the course of alcohol misuse, including other substance use, physical and mental health, and parenthood.




Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Development and Psychopathology


Stephenson, Mallory
Barr, Peter
Thomas, Nathaniel
Cooke, Megan
Latvala, Antti
Rose, Richard J.
Kaprio, Jaakko
Dick, Danielle
Salvatore, Jessica E.

Year Published





March 11, 2024



Reference ID