2012 › Trails



Substance abuse: The role of temperament in the relationship between early onset of tobacco and cannabis use: The TRAILS study (Temperament en riskant cannabisgebruik in de adolescentie)

Authors: Creemers HE, Vollebergh WAM, Ormel J, Verhulst FC, Huizink AC

This is a Dutch version of an earlier published article in English

This study focuses on the role of temperament in adolescent cannabis use and on the interplay between temperament and two other risk-factors of cannabis use, i.e. early onset cigarette smoking and affiliation with cannabis-using peers. Objectives were studied using data from TRAILS, a large, general population study of around 2000 adolescents. Findings indicate that adolescents with higher levels of sensation seeking are at increased risk of early onset smoking, which increases their risk of early onset cannabis use. Furthermore, temperament influences the risk of transition from smoking to cannabis use. Regular cannabis use is less likely among adolescents with higher levels of effortful control, and this is mediated by their lower proportion of cannabis-using friends. The interrelation between cannabis use, smoking and affiliation with cannabis-using peers supports the implementation of intervention methods that do not only address cannabis misuse but also co-occurring problems in other areas.


Substance abuse: The Association Between Neurocognitive Functioning and Smoking in Adolescence: The TRAILS Study

Authors: Harakeh Z, de Sonneville L, van den Eijnden RJ, Huizink AC, Reijneveld SA, Ormel J, Verhulst FC, et al.

Objective: This study examines the association between neurocognitive functioning and tobacco smoking in adolescence. Method: Data from three measurements of the longitudinal Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a large regional population-based cohort study of Dutch adolescents, were used. The first measurement took place in 2001-2002 (T1) when participants were age 11, with two follow-up measurements (2003-2004 and 2005-2007; T2 and T3, respectively). A total of 1,797 adolescents participated in all three waves. At T1, they performed a selection of tasks from the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Tasks program (De Sonneville, 1999), which enabled the assessment of the main aspects of neurocognitive functioning. Smoking was assessed with a self-report questionnaire at T1, T2, and T3. In the multivariate analyses we controlled for gender, age, socioeconomic status (SES) and baseline speed. Results: Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that poor sustained attention increased the likelihood that the adolescent would initiate smoking between T1 and T2. Low inhibition of prepotent responses increased the likelihood of smoking initiation between T1 and T3. An increased ability to inhibit biased response tendencies reduced the likelihood of being a daily smoker at T2. Poor sustained attention increased the likelihood of being a daily smoker at T3. Conclusion: Poor sustained attention and low inhibition predicted adolescent smoking. However, the proportion of the variance in smoking risk accounted for by these neurocognitive predictors proved to be small. Thus, although neurocognitive functioning is related to adolescent smoking, it seems to explain only a small part of why adolescents initiate and continue smoking.

Substance abuse: Predicting Transitions in Low and High Levels of Risk Behavior from Early to Middle Adolescence: The TRAILS Study

Authors: Monshouwer K, Harakeh Z, Lugtig P, Huizink A, Creemers HE, Reijneveld SA, De Winter AF, et al.

The present study examined the joint development of substance use and externalizing problems in early and middle adolescence. First, it was tested whether the relevant groups found in previous studies i.e., those with an early onset, a late onset, and no onset or low levels of risk behavior could be identified, while using a developmental
model of a single, underlying construct of risk behavior. Second, departing from Moffitt’s taxonomy of antisocial behavior, it was tested if early, but not late, onset risk behavior is predicted by a problematic risk profile in childhood. Data were used from TRAILS, a population based cohort study, starting at age 11 with two follow-ups at mean ages of 13.6 and 16.3 years. Latent transition analyses demonstrated that, both in early and middle adolescence, a single underlying construct of risk behavior, consisting of two classes (labeled as low and high risk behavior), adequately represented the data. Respondents could be clearly classified into four possible transition patterns from early to middle adolescence, with a transition from high to low being almost non-existent (2.5 %), low to low (39.4 %) and low to high (41.8 %) being the most prevalent, and high to high (16.2 %) substantial. As hypothesized, only the high-high group was characterized by a clear adverse predictor profile in late childhood, while the low-high group was not. This study demonstrates that the development of substance use is correlated with externalizing problems and underscores the theory that etiologies of early and later onset risk behavior are different.