Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Impulsive behavior in males increases after periods of heavy drinking

Date:
November 17, 2010
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
Alcohol is known to cause an increase in impulsive behavior in individuals, which can not only be dangerous for themselves, but for others as well. A new study on adolescent males indicate that risky behavior may actually increases over time after periods of heavy drinking.

Alcohol is known to cause an increase in impulsive behavior in individuals, which can not only be dangerous for themselves, but for others as well. A new study on adolescent males indicate that risky behavior may actually increases over time after periods of heavy drinking.

The period known as adolescence is a significant time of change for the individual experiencing it. Some of the most important changes occur within the prefrontal cortex of the brain, where decision making, understanding and behavioral control reside. But, adolescence is also a time when many individuals begin to drink, which can have serious effects on brain development.

New research investigating impulsive behavior in male adolescents has indicated that there is a significant trend regarding the amount of alcohol an individual ingests, and changes in levels of impulsive behavior that follow.

The results will be published in the February 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

Helene R. White, a professor of sociology at the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University -- The State University of New Jersey located in Piscataway and the first author of the study, said that the study attempted to fill a gap in current knowledge regarding whether human adolescents who drink heavily show an increase in impulsive behavior.

"Heavy alcohol use in adolescence may lead to alterations in brain structure and function that reduce behavioral (impulse) control, which could, in turn, promote further heavy drinking," said White. "We chose boys because they tend to drink heavier than girls during adolescence, and adolescent boys generally exhibit less impulse control than adolescent girls."

The study involved annually following more than 500 first grade boys from the City of Pittsburgh public schools until age 20, with another follow up four to five years later. The researchers used questionnaires and interviews to obtain data regarding the subject's drinking and impulsive behavior, so they could determine if there was a correlation between the two.

These results showed that for adolescent boys exhibiting moderate levels of impulsive behavior, as opposed to those in the low or high groups, there was a significant increase in impulsive behavior when they engaged in heavy drinking the previous year.

"These studies highlight the importance of prevention," says Andrew Littlefield, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Missouri who has published papers comparing changes in impulsivity to alterations in drinking behavior during young adulthood. "Decreasing heavy drinking during adolescence may decrease impulsivity by preventing damage to crucial brain areas. Findings also suggested that adolescents who stopped heavy drinking later "rebounded" to lower levels of impulsivity. Therefore, decreasing drinking during adolescence could result in improved self-control at later ages."

However, these results are only the first step in research regarding impulsivity and heavy drinking, and according to White, far more research is needed before any definitive conclusions are drawn.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Helene R. White, Naomi R. Marmorstein, Fulton T. Crews, Marsha E. Bates, Eun-Young Mun, Rolf Loeber. Associations Between Heavy Drinking and Changes in Impulsive Behavior Among Adolescent Boys. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01345.x

Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Impulsive behavior in males increases after periods of heavy drinking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116181945.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2010, November 17). Impulsive behavior in males increases after periods of heavy drinking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116181945.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Impulsive behavior in males increases after periods of heavy drinking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116181945.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins