Nav: Home

Child and adolescent anxiety could be linked to later alcohol problems

March 21, 2019

New research led by the University of Bristol has found some evidence that children and adolescents with higher levels of anxiety may be at greater risk of developing alcohol problems. However, the link between anxiety and later binge drinking and later frequency and quantity of drinking was more inconclusive.

The study published in Addiction, was carried out by the University's Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (TARG) part of the School of Psychological Science and MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC IEU).

Many studies have investigated the relationship between anxiety and alcohol use, but the evidence has been unclear. Some studies have found higher anxiety is linked to greater alcohol use, whereas other studies have found anxiety is linked to lower alcohol use, or they have found no association.

The researchers carried out a systematic review of 51 prospective cohort studies from 11 countries [United States, Germany, Finland, UK, Netherlands, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Norway] to explore whether child and adolescent anxiety is linked to later alcohol use and alcohol use disorders.

Forty-six studies included males and females, four had an all-male sample and one had an all-female sample. Thirty measures assessed anxiety and 40 measures assessed alcohol use. The study sample sizes ranged from 110 to 11,157 participants. Anxiety exposure ages ranged from three to 24 years, and alcohol outcome ages ranged from 11 to 42 years.

The study found some evidence of a link between child and adolescent anxiety and later alcohol use disorders. However, associations of anxiety with later drinking frequency, quantity and binge drinking were more inconsistent.

Maddy Dyer, PhD student in the School of Psychological Science's Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, who led the research said: "Our findings indicate that young people with higher anxiety may have a greater risk of developing alcohol problems. Further research is needed to understand why there are differences in associations for alcohol consumption levels versus problematic use, and to establish which individuals with anxiety develop alcohol problems. This could lead to improvements in personalised interventions."
-end-
The research was funded by the MRC and Alcohol Research UK (MR/L022206/1), MRC Addiction Research Clinical Training programme (MARC), MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU), The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), NIHR School of Public Health Research, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation, and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

Joint funding was received from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, the Welsh Government and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

University of Bristol

Related Binge Drinking Articles:

How serious is binge drinking among college students with disabilities?
A new study finds that college students with disabilities binge drink more often than their non-disabled student peers.
Effective intervention for binge drinking in adolescents
An intervention program based on school class groups has a preventive effect on subsequent drinking behavior, especially binge drinking, in adolescents who had previously consumed alcohol.
Binge drinking may quickly lead to liver damage
Alcohol consumed during just seven weeks of intermittent binge drinking harms the liver in ways that more moderate daily drinking does not, according to researchers at UC San Francisco.
Teenage binge drinking can affect brain functions in future offspring
Repeated binge drinking during adolescence can affect brain functions in future generations, potentially putting offspring at risk for such conditions as depression, anxiety, and metabolic disorders.
Questionnaire predicts likelihood of unprotected sex, binge drinking
Researchers in the social sciences have been searching for a holy grail: an accurate way to predict who is likely to engage in problematic behavior, like using drugs.
Study pinpoints behavior type linked to binge drinking in young adults
While there are a number of studies on alcohol misuse, most of the research has been focused on the adult population.
Gene and tonic: Genetic link in binge-drinking teens
Scientists have identified the KALRN gene in a search to determine factors at play in underage alcohol abuse.
Researchers find brain circuit that controls binge drinking
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a circuit between two brain regions that controls alcohol binge drinking, offering a more complete picture on what drives a behavior that costs the United States more than $170 billion annually and how it can be treated.
Binge drinking dangerous for young adults
Having an occasional drink is fine, but 'binge' drinking is a known health hazard and now high blood pressure may need to be added to the list of possible consequences.
Binge drinking with chronic alcohol use more destructive than previously thought
A new study by MU School of Medicine researchers shows that chronic alcohol use, when combined with repeated binge drinking, causes more damage to the liver than previously thought.

Related Binge Drinking Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...