Childhood Temperament and Substance Abuse

In a study conducted by Translational Psychology, researchers went out to study a link between childhood temperament and substance abuse later in life. In the study, young children were studied, then as adolescents went through more tests and their brains were scanned. Five years later, the researchers followed up, having the participants self-report substance abuse.

Behavioral Inhibition (BI) is an important marker of future psychological issues.

The study found that young children identified during infancy with this temperament (BI) show fearful responses to novelty, heightened negative affect, and in early childhood display heightened social reticence to unfamiliar peers. Furthermore, individuals characterized by BI are at increased risk for psychopathology, particularly anxiety.

These adolescents have hypersensitivity to both positive and negative stimuli, which is linked to a part of the brain that is linked to motivated behavior, risk-taking and substance abuse.

The study found that BI and activation in a certain part of the brain was positively related to substance abuse later in life.

For the full study, click below.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3565209/

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