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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Alcohol is the substance most commonly used by youth. Problematic alcohol use can be considered a developmental disorder, which typically has its origins in an individual’s genetic liability, temperament, and experiences in childhood and adolescence. To provide a context for the emergence of alcohol use in adolescence, this chapter briefly reviews biological substrates of risk that include genetic liability and processes of developmental maturation (e.g., puberty, brain development). The chapter then addresses the prevalence of alcohol use and alcohol-related problems in adolescence, trajectories of youth alcohol use, and internalizing and externalizing behavior pathways associated with adolescent alcohol use. Risk and protective factors influencing adolescent alcohol use are discussed as targets to guide developmentally informed prevention and intervention.

Keywords: alcohol, adolescent, binge drinking, trajectories, alcohol use disorder, risk factors, protective factors

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