Caroline A Lynch



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Can regular exercise during adolescence, combined with living in a social environment, lead to lower stress levels and alcohol intake later in life? The aim of this research is to combine the variables of adolescent housing condition and voluntary exercise in the form of wheel running to discover the impact on rats’ subsequent response to a stressor and alcohol intake/preferences. Since chronic stress has been discovered to be linked to the development of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in humans, this study attempts to model this phenomenon in rats while incorporating a behavioral intervention with the intention of reducing the effects of chronic stress on anxiety-like behavior and alcohol intake/preference. Gaining an understanding of how housing condition and exercise can play a role in subsequent alcohol intake and stress hormone levels will be beneficial to understanding the physiological effects of chronic stress, and may be useful for the advent of new pharmacotherapies for individuals with an alcohol use disorder.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis - Undergraduate

Primary Advisor

Tracy Butler

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

The Effects of Adolescent Housing Condition and Voluntary Exercise on Alcohol Intake and Stress Response in Male Long-Evans Rats