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This study examined whether urgency, a disposition to rash action under conditions of strong emotion, moderates associations between internalizing symptoms and alcohol use and related expectancies. Data from the Camden Youth Development Study, a longitudinal, community-based study of early adolescents (N = 144, mean age at intake = 11.9 years; 65% Hispanic, 30% African-American; 50% male), were used. Self-report questionnaire measures of depressive symptoms, social and generalized anxiety symptoms, urgency, alcohol use, and alcohol expectancies were used. Mixed models were used to examine the effects of internalizing symptoms, urgency, and their interaction on alcohol use and expectancy trajectories over time. Depressive symptoms interacted with urgency such that youth with high levels of both tended to have elevated levels of global positive alcohol expectancies. Social anxiety symptoms interacted with urgency to be associated with increasing levels of social behavior alcohol expectancies such that youth with high levels of both tended to experience particular increases in these expectancies over time. Generalized anxiety was not found to be associated with alcohol-related constructs. Therefore, high levels of urgency combine with depressive and social anxiety symptoms to be associated with particularly increased risk for alcohol expectancies that are associated with later alcohol use and problems, indicating particular risk for youth with these combinations of personality traits and psychopathology symptoms.
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