Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 547-555

Trait impulsivity in alcohol-naïve offspring at high risk for alcoholism

1 Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Keshav J Kumar
Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_92_18

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Background: Impulsivity is considered to be a vulnerability marker for substance use disorders, including alcoholism, in offspring with familial alcoholism. However, it is not adequately explored whether different age groups offspring at high risk for alcoholism differ in their impulsivity. The present study examined trait impulsivity in offspring at high risk for alcoholism, and further examined impulsivity by categorizing these offspring into different age groups. The study also examined the association between impulsivity and age, and the association of executive functions with age and education. Materials and Methods: Sample consisted of alcohol-naïve offspring at high (n = 34) and low (n = 34) risk for alcoholism. Participants were matched on age (±1 year), education (±1 year), and gender. The measures included were: Mini-international neuropsychiatric interview, family interview for genetic studies, sociodemographic data sheet, Annett's handedness questionnaire, Barratt's Impulsiveness Scale-version 11, and tests assessing executive functions. Results: Offspring at high risk for alcoholism demonstrated significantly high impulsivity. Furthermore, offspring at high risk were categorized into three subgroups with age. Results showed no significant difference between the subgroups with respect to impulsivity. Correlation analysis revealed no significant association between impulsivity and age. However, executive functions (concept formation, working memory, and safe decision-making) showed significant positive association, while perseveration and risky decision-making showed a negative association with age and education in both the groups. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates high impulsivity trait in offspring at high risk for alcoholism. The high impulsivity could pose a risk for addiction and may require preventive intervention.

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