Introduction and aims: Adolescence is a period in which many have an onset of alcohol use, but there is much heterogeneity in the individual development of alcohol use. Further, there is a general increase in depressive symptoms from early to late adolescence, but less is known about how different alcohol habit trajectories are associated with symptoms of depression. The aims of the present study were: to identify trajectories of alcohol consumption and drinking to intoxication during adolescence (age 13-18 years); and examine to what extent the different trajectories of alcohol use were associated with symptoms of depression over the same age span, from early to late adolescence.
Methods: Data from the Norwegian Longitudinal Health Behaviour Study were employed. Latent class growth analyses were employed to identify different trajectories of both alcohol consumption and drinking to intoxication. The resulting trajectories for each participant were used to estimate the gender-adjusted association between different development of alcohol use and symptoms of depression.
Results: Four trajectories of both alcohol consumption and drinking to intoxication were identified. The trajectories with an early onset of alcohol consumption or drinking to intoxication were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms compared with late onset or stable low use trajectories.
Conclusions: The findings from the present study suggest that early onset developmental trajectories of alcohol use are associated with depression. Therefore, broad assessment and interventions targeting both alcohol and depression may be indicated among early onset alcohol users, especially if they report increasing levels of consumption. [Skogen JC, Knudsen AK, Hysing M, Wold B, Sivertsen B. Trajectories of alcohol use and association with symptoms of depression from early to late adolescence: The Norwegian Longitudinal Health Behaviour Study. Drug Alcohol Rev 2016;35:307-316].
Keywords: adolescence; alcohol use; depression; development; intoxication.
© 2015 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.