2012 › Trails



Temperament: 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 article, previously published 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.

Temperament: Who Dates? The Effects of Temperament, Puberty, and Parenting on Early Adolescent Experience with Dating: The TRAILS Study

Authors: Ivanova K, Veenstra R, Mills M

This article focuses on how temperament, pubertal maturation, and perception of parenting behaviors affect the propensity to date in early adolescence (mean age = 13.55). Hypotheses are tested with a representative sample of 2,230 Dutch adolescents, the TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS). The results suggest that adolescents are more likely to have experience with dating when they score higher on the need for high-intensity pleasure, pubertal maturation, and perceived parental rejection. Shyness, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. In addition, a moderation effect is observed such that the more rejecting the parents are perceived to be, the less effect the temperament characteristic of high-intensity pleasure has on dating. Future research should investigate in further detail whether dating could be seen as a way for early adolescents to establish their grown-up status or as a way to compensate for heightened parental rejection.

Temperament: Stressful events and temperament change during early and middle adolescence: The TRAILS study

Authors: Laceulle OM, Karreman A, Nederhof E, Ormel J, Van Aken MAG

This project investigates how stressful events are related to deviations from normative temperament development during adolescence. Temperament traits were assessed at ages 11 and 16 years. Life event data was captured using an interview (total n = 1197). Normative changes were found in all traits. A linear trend was found between the experience of stressful events and temperament development. Adolescents exposed to stressful events showed smaller decreases in fear and shyness, stronger decreases in effortful control and affiliation and smaller increases in high intensity pleasure. Exposure to stressful events was related to increases in frustration instead of decreases. Our results show that whereas normative development is mostly in the direction of maturation, adolescents who experienced stressful events showed less maturation of their temperament.

Temperament: Symptoms of anxiety in adolescents. Findings from the TRAILS-study (Angstsymptomen bij adolescenten; bevindingen uit de TRAILS studie)

Authors: Van Oort FVA, Ormel J, Verhulst FC

Background. The Dutch TRAILS-study focuses on the development of youth from early adolescence into adulthood. An important aspect of this development is the development of anxiety. Little was known about typical development of symptoms of anxiety over adolescence. Aim. To describe normative development of anxiety over adolescence, as well as risk indicators for high levels of anxiety. Methods. Studies were imbedded in TRAILS, a large cohort study following children (10y) into adulthood (25y). Results. Our studies show that on average levels of anxiety decrease in early adolescence and subsequently increase in middle or late adolescence, depending on the subtype of anxiety. We found child, parent and peer factors at age 10-12 that were related with higher anxiety levels. Some, e.g., parenting style, were related with higher anxiety only in early adolescence, whereas others, e.g., victim of bullying by peers were related with higher anxiety levels throughout adolescence regardless of stability of victimization. Conclusion. Our studies contribute to a better understanding of normative development of anxiety over adolescence.

Click here for the Dutch article