Risk and resilience : a prospective analysis of the complex effects of internalizing problems on alcohol use in adolescence

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology, Clinical


Department of Psychology


Advisor: Jackson Goodnight


Previous research suggests that there exist both risk and protective mechanisms for the relationship between internalizing problems and alcohol use outcomes. The present study aimed to determine whether low deviant peer affiliations and risk aversion were two protective mediating mechanisms of this relationship. A risk mechanism of high negative emotionality, consistent with the tension reduction hypothesis, was also investigated. For exploratory purposes, the mediators were tested on three separate alcohol use outcomes: frequency of use, frequency of heavy use, and problematic use. Data from age cohorts 9, 12, and 15 (N=2,318) of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods' (PHDCN) Longitudinal Cohort Study were utilized. Path analyses for all models revealed that internalizing problems were associated with high negative emotionality and low impulsivity. Also, high peer deviance was found to increase adolescents' risk for all alcohol use outcomes, implying a possible target for intervention. Contrary to predictions, high negative emotionality significantly negatively mediated the relationship between internalizing problems and alcohol use frequency.


Teenagers Alcohol use, Drinking of alcoholic beverages Psychological aspects, Alcoholism Psychological aspects, Emotional problems of teenagers, Emotional problems of children, Youth Alcohol use, Children Alcohol use, Clinical Psychology, alcohol use, internalizing problems, negative emotionality, risk aversion, peer deviancy, adolescence

Rights Statement

Copyright 2015, author