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Acute alcohol effects on impulsive choice in adolescents


Bernhardt, Nadine; Obst, Elisabeth; Nebe, Stephan; Pooseh, Shakoor; Wurst, Friedrich M; Weinmann, Wolfgang; Smolka, Michael N; Zimmermann, Ulrich S (2019). Acute alcohol effects on impulsive choice in adolescents. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 33(3):316-325.

Abstract

Background: Neurodevelopmental and alcohol-induced changes in decision-making have been proposed to critically influence impulsive behaviour in
adolescents.
Objective: This study tested the influence of acute alcohol administration on impulsive choice in adolescents.
Methods: Fifty-four males aged 18–19 years were tested in a single-blind placebo-controlled cross-over design. During alcohol administration (infusion resulting in an arterial blood alcohol concentration of 80 mg%) and placebo condition (saline infusion), participants performed a task battery providing estimates of delay discounting, probability discounting for gains, for losses and loss aversion, and also rated subjectively experienced alcohol effects. Additionally, baseline alcohol consumption (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, blood phosphatidylethanol levels), motives (Drinking Motive Questionnaire, Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire and Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale), family history and self-report measures of impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Substance Use Risk Profile Scale) were provided.
Results: No overall effects of treatment on choice behaviour were found. However, individual differences were observed. In the alcohol condition, more impulsive choice tendencies for delay discounting were associated with higher subjectively experienced alcohol effects. Further, higher risk aversion for probabilistic gains and higher loss aversion during alcohol condition were related to higher levels of real-life alcohol consumption and a family history of alcohol problems, respectively. Finally, the time to make a decision was substantially shortened for choices involving negative prospects.
Conclusions: Contrary to common beliefs, acute alcohol intoxication did not generally incite impulsive decision-making. It rather appears that alcoholinduced behavioural changes in adolescents vary considerably depending on prior experiences and subjective effects of alcohol.

Abstract

Background: Neurodevelopmental and alcohol-induced changes in decision-making have been proposed to critically influence impulsive behaviour in
adolescents.
Objective: This study tested the influence of acute alcohol administration on impulsive choice in adolescents.
Methods: Fifty-four males aged 18–19 years were tested in a single-blind placebo-controlled cross-over design. During alcohol administration (infusion resulting in an arterial blood alcohol concentration of 80 mg%) and placebo condition (saline infusion), participants performed a task battery providing estimates of delay discounting, probability discounting for gains, for losses and loss aversion, and also rated subjectively experienced alcohol effects. Additionally, baseline alcohol consumption (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, blood phosphatidylethanol levels), motives (Drinking Motive Questionnaire, Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire and Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale), family history and self-report measures of impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Substance Use Risk Profile Scale) were provided.
Results: No overall effects of treatment on choice behaviour were found. However, individual differences were observed. In the alcohol condition, more impulsive choice tendencies for delay discounting were associated with higher subjectively experienced alcohol effects. Further, higher risk aversion for probabilistic gains and higher loss aversion during alcohol condition were related to higher levels of real-life alcohol consumption and a family history of alcohol problems, respectively. Finally, the time to make a decision was substantially shortened for choices involving negative prospects.
Conclusions: Contrary to common beliefs, acute alcohol intoxication did not generally incite impulsive decision-making. It rather appears that alcoholinduced behavioural changes in adolescents vary considerably depending on prior experiences and subjective effects of alcohol.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pharmacology (medical), Pharmacology, Psychiatry and Mental health
Language:English
Date:1 March 2019
Deposited On:07 May 2019 14:13
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 20:22
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0269-8811
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881118822063

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