Role of Risk Taking and Inhibitory Control in Alcohol Use Among Maltreated Adolescents and Nonmaltreated Adolescents

Hyoun K. Kim, Jacqueline Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exposure to childhood maltreatment is a significant risk factor for the development and persistence of problematic alcohol use. The present study examined the role of risk taking and inhibitory control, key cognitive processes believed to govern behavioral regulation, as mechanisms that underlie the association between childhood maltreatment and the early stages of alcohol use. A sample of 129 maltreated adolescents and 102 socioeconomic status–matched, nonmaltreated adolescents and their parents completed three annual assessments, including computer-administered tasks and adolescent- and parent-report questionnaires, across ages 12–13 through 14–15 years. Childhood maltreatment was not directly associated with alcohol use in middle adolescence but was significantly associated with deficits in inhibitory control in early adolescence, which, in turn, led to significantly increased alcohol use in middle adolescence. Indeed, decreased inhibitory control was significant as a mediator, highlighting the salient role of this cognitive process in the early stages of alcohol use among maltreated adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Maltreatment
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Support for this work was provided by the Yonsei University Research Grant of 2021 and AA021973, NIAAA, US PHS.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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