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Understanding the Interplay of Temperament and Adolescent Substance Use: A Case–control Study

Anju Moni Rabha, Kamala Deka

Background: Temperament is a relatively stable individual characteristic. Temperament predicts many consequential outcomes throughout life. Different dimensions of temperament lead to different patterns of responses to external stimuli. Dimensions such as activity level and negative emotionality are related to risk-promoting behavior like substance use in adolescents. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we included 35 adolescents in the age group of 10–17 years. We included adolescents attending outpatient clinics and inpatient services who were diagnosed with mental disorders due to substance use according to ICD-10 diagnostic criteria. We also included 35 healthy controls. All study participants in the case and control groups were assessed using the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire-Revised (EATQ-R) scale. Results: When temperament was assessed using the EATQ-R, the mean scores were highest for frustration, aggression, surgency, and depressed mood, but were lowest for shyness in the study group. While comparing temperament between the study group and the control group, significant differences were found between activation control (p < 0.05), aggression (p < 0.001), attention (p < 0.001), depressed mood (p < 0.05), fear (p < 0.001), inhibitory control (p < 0.001), shyness (p < 0.001), and surgency (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Temperament plays a significant rôle in adolescent substance use. Person-specific treatment can be designed to provide better care and management of patients in taking temperament into account.
Key Word children, Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire-Revised, high-risk adolescents, substance dependence
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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