M.E. van Hemel-Ruiter
P.J. de Jong
- Appetitive and regulatory processes in young adolescent drinkers
- Addictive Behaviors
- Volume | Issue number
- 36 | 1-2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Dual-process models of addiction propose that alcohol (mis)use develops because of an imbalance between a fast automatic appetitive system, in which stimuli are valued in terms of their emotional and motivational significance and a slower controlled regulatory system, which acts on deliberate considerations. This study focused on the automatic and regulatory processes that are involved in the early stages of young adolescent alcohol use. Participants were 43 young adolescent drinkers, who completed an explicit alcohol valence measure, two versions of an Affective Simon Task (AST), a working memory task and an alcohol use questionnaire. Alcohol use was associated with relatively positive self-reported valence of alcohol pictures, especially for adolescents with lower inhibition capacity. The Affective Simon Tasks did not show stronger automatic approach tendencies in heavier drinkers. This study suggests that in early stages of alcohol use appetitive valence is a more important stimulator for the initiation of alcohol use than automatic approach tendencies, and supports the view that young adolescents with low inhibition capacity are especially at risk for developing alcohol misuse. Prevention therefore should be focused on reducing the attractive valence of alcoholic drinks and strengthening the cognitive control of at-risk children.
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