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Journal of Psychological Abnormalities
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Research Article

Impulsiveness, Behavioral Disorders and Alcohol Misuse in Teenage Students in Northern Italy

Michela Gatta1*, Andrea Spoto2, Serena Lamboglia1, Marco Penzo1, C.Paolo Testa1 and Pier Antonio Battistella1

1Woman and Child Care Department, Padua University Hospital, Italy

2Department of General Psychology, Padua University, Italy

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Gatta Michela
Woman and Child Care Department
Via Colli 4, 35143 Padova, Italy
Tel: 0039 (0) 49 8217690
Fax: 0039 (0) 49 821 7708
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 31, 2014; Accepted date: June 28, 2014; Published date: July 08, 2014

Citation: Gatta M, Spoto A, Serena L, Penzo M, Paolo TC, et al. (2014) Impulsiveness, Behavioral Disorders and Alcohol Misuse in Teenage Students in Northern Italy. J Psychol Abnorm Child 3:122. doi:10.4172/2329-9525.1000122

Copyright: © 2014 Gatta M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Introduction: This study aimed to analyze the growing phenomenon of adolescent alcohol consumption and its association with behavioral disorders, focusing particularly on the “impulsiveness” trait and seeking any gender-related differences.

Subjects and methods: The sample consisted of 273 secondary school pupils (in 9th to 13th grade), 140 of them males and 133 females, with a mean age of 15.4 years ± 1.1 SD.

The following tests were administered:

- The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) to measure their impulsiveness;

- The Youth Self Report 11-18 (YSR) to identify any psychobehavioral problems;

- The Adolescents’ Saturday Nights Questionnaire (QAS) (Questionario Adolescenti Sabato Sera) (Gallimberti et al, 2011) to obtain information on the modality and quantity of their alcohol consumption.

Results: While a greater degree of impulsiveness was clearly associated with alcohol consumption, heavier drinkers were not more impulsive than more moderate drinkers. This would seem to confirm the hypothesis that a tendency for impulsiveness predisposes to alcohol consumption. On the other hand, our data indicate a higher prevalence of behavioral disorders among heavy drinkers than among more moderate drinkers: the higher the score on the behavioral disorder scales, the higher the alcohol consumption. This picture could represent the behavioral correlates associated with impulsiveness, exacerbated by the neurobiological effects of alcohol on the brain and particularly on the frontal regions (still immature in preadolescence and adolescence), i.e. the site of the functions that are altered in behavioral disorders.

The ‘gender’ variable did not influence the relationship between alcohol consumption and impulsiveness in our sample, but the two genders seemed to differ in their susceptibility to different subdomains of impulsiveness and behavioral disorders, i.e. non-planning impulsiveness with conduct disorder in males and motor impulsiveness with oppositional-defiant disorder in females.

Conclusion: This finding is of interest because it enables us to link the use and effects of alcohol in adolescence with certain psychopathologies and to identify a possibly alcohol-related tendency of one or other gender to develop a given disorder.

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