Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teenagers avoid early alcohol misuse through personality management

Date:
January 23, 2013
Source:
Université de Montréal
Summary:
Personality-targeted interventions delivered by trained teachers and school staff decrease alcohol misuse in at-risk teens and delay their classmates’ alcohol uptake.

Personality-targeted interventions delivered by trained teachers and school staff decrease alcohol misuse in at-risk teens and delay their classmates' alcohol uptake.

In a study published in the very first issue of the new journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, University of Montreal and King's College London have shown that personality-targeted school interventions delivered to high risk adolescents manage to reduce and postpone problem drinking, which is responsible for 9% of the deaths in young people between the ages of 15 and 29 in developed countries. Furthermore, by delaying alcohol uptake in at-risk youth, low-risk youth apparently gain group immunity due to reduced drinking within their social network.

"Two factors determine problem drinking: personality and peer pressure," explains Dr. Patricia Conrod, the study's first author, who supports the assumption that approaching at-risk youth from the angle of mental health rather than information on the dangers of alcohol is more effective at preventing early-onset alcohol misuse. "Teaching young people how to better manage their personality traits or vulnerabilities helps them make the right decisions in given situations," she explained, "whether it is a matter of overcoming their fears, managing thoughts that make them very emotional, controlling their compulsions, analyzing objectively the intentions of others or improving their self-perception."

The researcher conducted a two-year study called Adventure in which high-school school staff in London, England, were trained to intervene with their ninth grade students (median age of 13.7 years) in order to determine whether their intervention could reduce or postpone the participants' misuse of alcohol in the long term. The development of consumption patterns was measured by observing the drinking rates, problem drinking rates, binge drinking rates, and growth in binge-drinking rates. In addition, the study also attempted to examine a possible group ("herd") immunity effect associated with these interventions.

Participating schools were divided into two groups (control and intervention). The "intervention" school group conducted the intervention at the beginning of the study, whereas the "control" school group benefited from the program and training later on. Out of the total sample, 1,210 students were identified as being more at risk of developing future alcohol dependence after having filled out a personality questionnaire. They presented at least one of the following personality profiles: "anxiety-sensitivity," "hopelessness," "impulsivity" or "sensation-seeking." Trained school facilitators met these students during two brief personalized group sessions and asked them, based on their personality profile, to describe their reactions to various real-life scenarios and try to react to them in a different way.

"The advantage of this approach is that it is easy to implement as opposed to community-based approaches. Teachers can be trained to implement the program and closely adhere to its objectives very effectively, especially since only two interventions are required," explained Dr. Conrod.

A similar study is now under way in 32 high schools in Montreal, Canada. The study is also adding a component that analyses youth styles of thinking. Schools interested in taking part in the program can visit the project's website at: http://www.co-venture.ca


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université de Montréal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patricia J. Conrod, Maeve O’Leary-Barrett, Nicola Newton, Lauren Topper, Natalie Castellanos-Ryan, Clare Mackie, Alain Girard. Effectiveness of a Selective, Personality-Targeted Prevention Program for Adolescent Alcohol Use and Misuse: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 2013; DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.651

Cite This Page:

Université de Montréal. "Teenagers avoid early alcohol misuse through personality management." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123164917.htm>.
Université de Montréal. (2013, January 23). Teenagers avoid early alcohol misuse through personality management. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123164917.htm
Université de Montréal. "Teenagers avoid early alcohol misuse through personality management." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123164917.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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