Increased motivation towards alcohol use and suboptimal behavioral control are suggested to predispose adolescents to alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Paradoxically however, most adolescent AUDs resolve over time without any formal intervention, suggesting adolescent resilience to AUDs. Importantly, studies directly comparing adolescent and adult alcohol use are largely missing. We therefore aimed to unravel the moderating role of age in the relation between alcohol use and motivational and control-related cognitive processes in 45 adolescent drinkers compared to 45 adults. We found that enhancement drinking motives and impulsivity related positively to alcohol use. Although enhancement drinking motives and impulsivity were higher in adolescents, the strength of the relation between these measures and alcohol use did not differ between age groups. None of the alcohol use-related motivational measures (i.e., craving, attentional bias, and approach bias) and behavioral control measures (i.e., interference control, risky decision making, and working-memory) were associated with alcohol use or differed between age groups. These findings support the role of impulsivity and affective sensitivity in adolescent drinking but question the moderating role of age therein. The current study contributes towards understanding the role of age in the relation between alcohol use and cognition.

, , ,,

Cousijn, J., Green, K.H., Labots, M., Vanderschuren, L.J.M.J., Kenemans, J.L., & Lesscher, H.M.B. (2020). Motivational and control mechanisms underlying adolescent versus adult alcohol use. NeuroSci, 1(1). doi:10.3390/neurosci1010005