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Youth Depression Predicts Substance Abuse

teenA prospective study of over 1,800 young Finnish twins revealed early-onset depressive disorders at age 14 significantly predicted substance abuse three years later.

Researchers found that daily smoking, smokeless tobacco use, frequent illicit drug use, frequent alcohol use and recurrent intoxication occurred even among those adolescents who were not users at baseline.

Examining twins, the study found that at age 17, one twin might have early-onset of depression and also tended to have problems with smokeless tobacco use and frequent drinking.

“The findings of this large population-based study emphasize the importance of early-onset depressive disorders in developmental trajectories of substance use”, says researcher Elina Hakola, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Analyses that control for shared genetic and familial background factors suggest that influences other than family environments, for example, the influence of peers or dispositional personality traits on health-adversing behaviors in adolescence may also be of importance in this association.

The results have important implications for educational purposes in treatment and prevention programs in adolescent health care.

Source: University of Helsinki

Youth Depression Predicts Substance Abuse

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Youth Depression Predicts Substance Abuse. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 16, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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