INTRODUCTION: Adolescent delinquency and alcohol abuse have become a growing concern in Russia. Psychopathology, a dysfunctional family and specific personality factors have all been linked to addictive and antisocial behavior. Since delinquent youth represent a specific risk group, where alcohol misuse tends to be more pronounced than in the general population, the objectives of this study were: 1) to compare differences in personality and parenting factors, and in psychopathology in juvenile delinquents with and without alcohol abuse; and 2) to evaluate the associations between alcohol abuse, personality and parenting factors, after controlling for comorbid psychopathology.
METHODS: Psychopathology, including alcohol abuse, was assessed by means of a psychiatric interview in 229 Russian incarcerated male juvenile delinquents. In addition, alcohol use, personality, and parenting factors were assessed by self-reports.
RESULTS: Alcohol-abusing delinquents (n=138) scored significantly higher on novelty seeking and maternal emotional warmth and reported higher levels of psychopathology, as compared to nonalcohol-abusing delinquents (n=91). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that personality and parenting factors were significantly related to alcohol abuse, even after controlling for comorbid psychopathology.
CONCLUSION: Alcohol-abusing delinquents are at risk for a wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders. Alcohol abuse is associated with personality and parenting factors independently of comorbid psychopathology. Early interventions with high-risk youths may help to reduce their psychiatric problems and alcohol abuse.
2005. Vol. 14, no 5, 254-61 p.