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Journal Article


Sanchez-Roige S, Stephens DN, Duka T. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 2016; 40(10): 2208-2217.


School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, United Kingdom.


(Copyright © 2016, John Wiley and Sons)






BACKGROUND: Youths with family history (FH) of alcoholism are at greater risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD); heightened impulsive behavior may underlie such increased vulnerability. Here, we studied waiting impulsivity (previously suggested to predispose to alcohol drinking) in young moderate-to-heavy social drinkers (18 to 33 years old) characterized as family history positive (FHP) and negative (FHN) following an alcoholic or nonalcoholic (placebo) drink.

METHODS: Two groups of young male and female social drinkers (n = 64) were administered an acute dose of alcohol (0.8 g/kg) or placebo. One group (FHP; n = 24) had first-degree relatives with problems of alcohol misuse; the other group (FHN) did not. Participants completed 4 variants of the Sx-5CSRTT, a task measuring waiting impulsivity. In addition, other types of impulsive behavior were tested (by means of the stop-signal task [SST]; information sampling task [IST]; Delay Discounting Questionnaire; 2-choice impulsivity paradigm; and time estimation task).

RESULTS: Young FHP adults showed more premature responding than FHN when evaluated under increased attentional load (high waiting impulsivity), while, in contrast, they presented a more conservative strategy on the IST (less impulsive behavior), compared to FHN. Acute alcohol impaired inhibitory control on the SST in all participants, and induced a marginal increase of premature responses, but did not affect other measures of impulsivity.

CONCLUSIONS: Assessing for exaggerated waiting impulsivity may provide a potential endophenotype associated with risk for the development of alcohol addiction (i.e., offspring of alcoholics).

Copyright © 2016 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Language: en


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