Psychological dysregulation during adolescence mediates the association of parent-child attachment in childhood and substance use disorder in adulthood
Zhai, Z. W., Kirisci, L., Tarter, R. E., & Ridenour, T. A. (2014). Psychological dysregulation during adolescence mediates the association of parent-child attachment in childhood and substance use disorder in adulthood. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 40(1), 67-74. https://doi.org/10.3109/00952990.2013.848876
OBJECTIVE: This prospective study tested the hypothesis that psychological dysregulation in mid-adolescence (age 16) mediates the association between parent-child attachment in late childhood (age 10-12) and development of substance use disorder (SUD) in adulthood (age 22).
METHOD: The Youth Attachment to Parents Scale (YAPS) was developed in 10-12-year-old boys and girls (N = 694) at baseline residing in western Pennsylvania. Psychological dysregulation was measured by the neurobehavior disinhibition trait. Substance use was assessed at ages 10-12, 12-14, 16 and 19. SUD was diagnosed at age 22 using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders. The mediation of parent-child attachment and SUD by neurobehavior disinhibition was tested separately for mothers and fathers while controlling for baseline substance use.
RESULTS: Psychological dysregulation mediates the association between attachment to mothers and SUD, and partially mediates the association between attachment to fathers and SUD. Significant mediation effects remains after controlling for baseline substance use.
CONCLUSION: Optimal prevention of SUD should include ameliorating both psychological dysregulation predisposing to SUD and quality of the parent-child relationship.