The aim of this study was to predict alcohol inebriation and mental health (internalizing and externalizing problems plus well-being), and potential gender-specific patterns among young adolescents, by a biopsychosocial model of personality traits. Self-reported data from 853 adolescents (479 girls) in Sweden, aged 13–15 years, from the Longitudinal Research on Development In Adolescence (LoRDIA) program were used. Predictions from personality to inebriation and mediating effects of mental health were estimated by means of logistic regression and generalized structural equation modelling. Separated gender analyses were performed throughout the study to reveal potential gender-specific patterns. Externalizing problems, Novelty Seeking and Cooperativeness had independent effects on alcohol inebriation for both genders as well as Harm Avoidance among girls and Internalizing problems among boys. Novelty Seeking and Self-Directedness had indirect effects through externalizing problems and Harm Avoidance and Self-Directedness had indirect effects through internalizing problems for boys. Self-directedness showed an indirect effect through externalizing problems for girls. The combination of an immature character (low Self-directedness and Cooperativeness) with an extreme temperament profile (high Novelty Seeking and low Harm Avoidance) was a predictor of inebriation across gender, both directly and indirectly through mental health. This study contributes with valuable information about gender-specific considerations when developing and conducting preventative interventions targeting psychological risk and resilience factors for early alcohol inebriation among young adolescents.
Swedish Research Council, FORTE, VINNOVA, Formas.
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