Prevalence, Predictors, and Consequences of Alcohol Use from Childhood to Midlife

The primary goals of this developmental epidemiological project are to:

(1) Examine variation in the prevalence of early alcohol initiation by conducting the first prospective national study of alcohol use and attitudes via the age 11 survey of the 2001 Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), and testing theory-based hypotheses about child temperamental, cognitive and family influences on early drinking in the MCS and 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS) with structural equation models;

(2) In the BCS and 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS), examine how changes in work, family, and civic social roles across adulthood predict concurrent fluctuations in alcohol use and problem drinking (socialization hypothesis), using fixed effects models to control for stable unobserved effects;

(3) Document long-term consequences of mid 20s alcohol use for health and social roles in midlife (age 38/50 in BCS/NCDS) using propensity score models. J-shaped associations are hypothesized in which light/ moderate alcohol use predicts greater midlife health and role success (consequences hypothesis).