Lifecourse trajectories of alcohol use in a New Zealand birth cohort : a latent class analysis of predictors and outcomes. (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsPorter, Zacharyshow all
The development of an alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with antecedent risk factors such as parental alcohol problems and conduct disorder (Chassin et al., 2002; Lee et al., 2010). Many previous studies have reported that AUD is also associated with an elevated risk of adverse psychosocial outcomes including offending and substance use disorders (SUD) (Fergusson et al., 2013; Grant et al., 2015). There is limited research available which examines the extent factors predict alcohol use behaviors over the life course and what extent they contribute to associations found between alcohol use patterns and outcomes in adulthood. The current study used latent trajectory analyses of data from a long-term New Zealand longitudinal birth cohort study (N = 1065) to identify a finite set of trajectory groups based up their alcohol use behaviors from ages 15-35. The study identified childhood and adolescent factors which predicted alcohol trajectory class membership and examined associations between class membership and adverse outcomes at age 30-35. Findings indicated that five latent classes were required to describe drinking patterns of participants. A diverse range of childhood and adolescent factors predicted alcohol use trajectories. Latent class membership strongly predicted outcomes at ages 30-35 across the domains of substance dependence, mental health, socio- economic, family functioning, and offending. After controlling for covariates, only a small number of outcomes were still related to latent class membership: unemployment of 3+ months, home ownership, unemployment, welfare dependence, investment value, weekly income, life stress, and cohabiting with a partner. Membership to trajectories characterised by higher rates of AUD were associated with elevated rates of adverse outcomes including higher rates of life stress and less likely to cohabit with a partner. This research further informs our understanding of New Zealand factors and outcomes associated with alcohol use behaviours.