Aims: To examine the association between developmental trajectories of inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity and delinquency through childhood and adolescence (ages 8-16years) and subsequent binge drinking and marijuana use in early adulthood (age 21years). Design: Prospective naturalistic follow-up of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) previously enrolled in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Treatment-phase assessments occurred at 3, 9 and 14 months after randomization; follow-up assessments occurred at 24 months, 36 months, and 6, 8 and 12 years after randomization. Setting: Secondary analysis of data from the Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD (MTA), a multi-site RCT comparing the effects of careful medication management, intensive behavior therapy, their combination, and referral to usual community care. Participants: A total of 579 children with DSM-IV ADHD combined type, aged 7.0 and 9.9 years at baseline (mean=8.5, SD=0.80). Measurements: Ratings of inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity and delinquency were collected from multiple informants at baseline and through the 8-year follow-up. Self-reports of binge drinking and marijuana use were collected at the 12-year follow-up (mean age 21years). Findings: Trajectories of worsening inattention symptoms and delinquency (and less apparent improvement in hyperactivity-impulsivity) were associated with higher rates of early adult binge drinking and marijuana use, compared with trajectories of stable or improving symptoms and delinquency (of 24 comparisons, all P-values <0.05), even when symptom levels in stable trajectories were high. Conclusions: Worsening inattention symptoms and delinquency during adolescence are were associated with higher levels of early adult substance use; this pattern may reflect a developmental course of vulnerability to elevated substance use in early adulthood.

ADHD, Adolescence, Alcohol, Delinquency, Early adulthood, Marijuana, Trajectories
Department of Psychology

Howard, A.L, Molina, B.S.G. (Brooke S. G.), Swanson, J.M. (James M.), Hinshaw, S.P. (Stephen P.), Belendiuk, K.A. (Katherine A.), Harty, S.C. (Seth C.), … Wigal, T. (Timothy). (2015). Developmental progression to early adult binge drinking and marijuana use from worsening versus stable trajectories of adolescent attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and delinquency. Addiction, 110(5), 784–795. doi:10.1111/add.12880