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Clínica y Salud

On-line version ISSN 2174-0550Print version ISSN 1130-5274


ONTANEDA-AGUILAR, Mercy P et al. The role of age of onset in problematic alcohol consumption: artefact or cohort effect?. Clínica y Salud [online]. 2022, vol.33, n.1, pp.11-17.  Epub Aug 01, 2022. ISSN 2174-0550.

Age of onset has been reported as a crucial predictor for alcohol consumption in adolescence. However, several authors have warned against it as an unreliable artefact accounted by the tendency to delay age of onset as respondents’ age increases (forward telescoping). This study aims to test whether age of onset is either a proxy for age or a predictor of alcohol consumption of its own. A hierarchical regression model and Process Macro for SPSS were used to test the effect of age of onset (controlling for age) on alcohol consumption and the mediating/moderator role of age of onset, parental control, and sex on alcohol consumption, respectively. Results support the role of age of onset as a significant predictor of alcohol consumption in Ecuadorian adolescents, rather than an artefact. Furthermore, age of onset completely mediated the effect of age on alcohol consumption, often moderated by sex. Practical implications are further discussed.

Keywords : Alcohol consumption; Age of onset; Sex; Adolescence; Forward telescoping.

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