Physiological correlates of neurobehavioral disinhibition that relate to drug use and risky sexual behavior in adolescents with prenatal substance exposure

Elisabeth Conradt, Linda L. Lagasse, Seetha Shankaran, Henrietta Bada, Charles R. Bauer, Toni Whitaker, Jane A. Hammond, Barry M. Lester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Physiological correlates of behavioral and emotional problems, substance use onset and initiation of risky sexual behavior have not been studied in adolescents with prenatal drug exposure. We studied the concordance between baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) at age 3 and baseline cortisol levels at age 11. We hypothesized that children who showed concordance between RSA and cortisol would have lower neurobehavioral disinhibition scores which would in turn predict age of substance use onset and first sexual intercourse. The sample included 860 children aged 16 years participating in the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a multisite longitudinal study of children with prenatal exposure to cocaine and other substances. Structural equation modeling was used to test pathways between prenatal substance exposure, early adversity, baseline RSA, baseline cortisol, neurobehavioral disinhibition, drug use, and sexual behavior outcomes. Concordance was studied by examining separate male and female models in which there were statistically significant interactions between baseline RSA and cortisol. Prenatal substance exposure was operationalized as the number of substances to which the child was exposed. An adversity score was computed based on caregiver postnatal substance use, depression and psychological distress, number of caregiver changes, socioeconomic and poverty status, quality of the home environment, and child history of protective service involvement, abuse and neglect. RSA and cortisol were measured during a baseline period prior to the beginning of a task. Neurobehavioral disinhibition, based on composite scores of behavioral dysregulation and executive dysfunction, substance use and sexual behavior were derived from questionnaires and cognitive tests administered to the child. Findings were sex specific. In females, those with discordance between RSA and cortisol (high RSA and low cortisol or low RSA and high cortisol) had the most executive dysfunction which, in turn, predicted earlier initiation of alcohol by age 16. Among boys, there also existed a significant baseline RSA by baseline cortisol interaction. Boys with low baseline RSA and high baseline cortisol had the highest levels of behavioral dysregulation. This increase in behavioral dysregulation was in turn related to initiation of alcohol use by age 16 and lower age of first sexual intercourse. We found sex-specific pathways to the initiation of alcohol use and risky sexual behavior through the combined activity of parasympathetic and neuroendocrine functioning. The study of multiple physiological systems may suggest new pathways to the study of age of onset of substance use and engagement in risky sexual behavior in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-315
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Volume36
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Sexual Behavior
Hydrocortisone
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Coitus
Alcohols
Caregivers
Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia
Poverty
Cocaine
Age of Onset
Social Class
Longitudinal Studies
Life Style
Mothers
Depression
Psychology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this

Physiological correlates of neurobehavioral disinhibition that relate to drug use and risky sexual behavior in adolescents with prenatal substance exposure. / Conradt, Elisabeth; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles R.; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane A.; Lester, Barry M.

In: Developmental Neuroscience, Vol. 36, No. 3-4, 01.01.2014, p. 306-315.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Conradt, Elisabeth ; Lagasse, Linda L. ; Shankaran, Seetha ; Bada, Henrietta ; Bauer, Charles R. ; Whitaker, Toni ; Hammond, Jane A. ; Lester, Barry M. / Physiological correlates of neurobehavioral disinhibition that relate to drug use and risky sexual behavior in adolescents with prenatal substance exposure. In: Developmental Neuroscience. 2014 ; Vol. 36, No. 3-4. pp. 306-315.
@article{5696727acdb343cdb7e808525239ed8a,
title = "Physiological correlates of neurobehavioral disinhibition that relate to drug use and risky sexual behavior in adolescents with prenatal substance exposure",
abstract = "Physiological correlates of behavioral and emotional problems, substance use onset and initiation of risky sexual behavior have not been studied in adolescents with prenatal drug exposure. We studied the concordance between baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) at age 3 and baseline cortisol levels at age 11. We hypothesized that children who showed concordance between RSA and cortisol would have lower neurobehavioral disinhibition scores which would in turn predict age of substance use onset and first sexual intercourse. The sample included 860 children aged 16 years participating in the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a multisite longitudinal study of children with prenatal exposure to cocaine and other substances. Structural equation modeling was used to test pathways between prenatal substance exposure, early adversity, baseline RSA, baseline cortisol, neurobehavioral disinhibition, drug use, and sexual behavior outcomes. Concordance was studied by examining separate male and female models in which there were statistically significant interactions between baseline RSA and cortisol. Prenatal substance exposure was operationalized as the number of substances to which the child was exposed. An adversity score was computed based on caregiver postnatal substance use, depression and psychological distress, number of caregiver changes, socioeconomic and poverty status, quality of the home environment, and child history of protective service involvement, abuse and neglect. RSA and cortisol were measured during a baseline period prior to the beginning of a task. Neurobehavioral disinhibition, based on composite scores of behavioral dysregulation and executive dysfunction, substance use and sexual behavior were derived from questionnaires and cognitive tests administered to the child. Findings were sex specific. In females, those with discordance between RSA and cortisol (high RSA and low cortisol or low RSA and high cortisol) had the most executive dysfunction which, in turn, predicted earlier initiation of alcohol by age 16. Among boys, there also existed a significant baseline RSA by baseline cortisol interaction. Boys with low baseline RSA and high baseline cortisol had the highest levels of behavioral dysregulation. This increase in behavioral dysregulation was in turn related to initiation of alcohol use by age 16 and lower age of first sexual intercourse. We found sex-specific pathways to the initiation of alcohol use and risky sexual behavior through the combined activity of parasympathetic and neuroendocrine functioning. The study of multiple physiological systems may suggest new pathways to the study of age of onset of substance use and engagement in risky sexual behavior in adolescents.",
author = "Elisabeth Conradt and Lagasse, {Linda L.} and Seetha Shankaran and Henrietta Bada and Bauer, {Charles R.} and Toni Whitaker and Hammond, {Jane A.} and Lester, {Barry M.}",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1159/000365004",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "36",
pages = "306--315",
journal = "Developmental Neuroscience",
issn = "0378-5866",
publisher = "S. Karger AG",
number = "3-4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Physiological correlates of neurobehavioral disinhibition that relate to drug use and risky sexual behavior in adolescents with prenatal substance exposure

AU - Conradt, Elisabeth

AU - Lagasse, Linda L.

AU - Shankaran, Seetha

AU - Bada, Henrietta

AU - Bauer, Charles R.

AU - Whitaker, Toni

AU - Hammond, Jane A.

AU - Lester, Barry M.

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - Physiological correlates of behavioral and emotional problems, substance use onset and initiation of risky sexual behavior have not been studied in adolescents with prenatal drug exposure. We studied the concordance between baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) at age 3 and baseline cortisol levels at age 11. We hypothesized that children who showed concordance between RSA and cortisol would have lower neurobehavioral disinhibition scores which would in turn predict age of substance use onset and first sexual intercourse. The sample included 860 children aged 16 years participating in the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a multisite longitudinal study of children with prenatal exposure to cocaine and other substances. Structural equation modeling was used to test pathways between prenatal substance exposure, early adversity, baseline RSA, baseline cortisol, neurobehavioral disinhibition, drug use, and sexual behavior outcomes. Concordance was studied by examining separate male and female models in which there were statistically significant interactions between baseline RSA and cortisol. Prenatal substance exposure was operationalized as the number of substances to which the child was exposed. An adversity score was computed based on caregiver postnatal substance use, depression and psychological distress, number of caregiver changes, socioeconomic and poverty status, quality of the home environment, and child history of protective service involvement, abuse and neglect. RSA and cortisol were measured during a baseline period prior to the beginning of a task. Neurobehavioral disinhibition, based on composite scores of behavioral dysregulation and executive dysfunction, substance use and sexual behavior were derived from questionnaires and cognitive tests administered to the child. Findings were sex specific. In females, those with discordance between RSA and cortisol (high RSA and low cortisol or low RSA and high cortisol) had the most executive dysfunction which, in turn, predicted earlier initiation of alcohol by age 16. Among boys, there also existed a significant baseline RSA by baseline cortisol interaction. Boys with low baseline RSA and high baseline cortisol had the highest levels of behavioral dysregulation. This increase in behavioral dysregulation was in turn related to initiation of alcohol use by age 16 and lower age of first sexual intercourse. We found sex-specific pathways to the initiation of alcohol use and risky sexual behavior through the combined activity of parasympathetic and neuroendocrine functioning. The study of multiple physiological systems may suggest new pathways to the study of age of onset of substance use and engagement in risky sexual behavior in adolescents.

AB - Physiological correlates of behavioral and emotional problems, substance use onset and initiation of risky sexual behavior have not been studied in adolescents with prenatal drug exposure. We studied the concordance between baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) at age 3 and baseline cortisol levels at age 11. We hypothesized that children who showed concordance between RSA and cortisol would have lower neurobehavioral disinhibition scores which would in turn predict age of substance use onset and first sexual intercourse. The sample included 860 children aged 16 years participating in the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a multisite longitudinal study of children with prenatal exposure to cocaine and other substances. Structural equation modeling was used to test pathways between prenatal substance exposure, early adversity, baseline RSA, baseline cortisol, neurobehavioral disinhibition, drug use, and sexual behavior outcomes. Concordance was studied by examining separate male and female models in which there were statistically significant interactions between baseline RSA and cortisol. Prenatal substance exposure was operationalized as the number of substances to which the child was exposed. An adversity score was computed based on caregiver postnatal substance use, depression and psychological distress, number of caregiver changes, socioeconomic and poverty status, quality of the home environment, and child history of protective service involvement, abuse and neglect. RSA and cortisol were measured during a baseline period prior to the beginning of a task. Neurobehavioral disinhibition, based on composite scores of behavioral dysregulation and executive dysfunction, substance use and sexual behavior were derived from questionnaires and cognitive tests administered to the child. Findings were sex specific. In females, those with discordance between RSA and cortisol (high RSA and low cortisol or low RSA and high cortisol) had the most executive dysfunction which, in turn, predicted earlier initiation of alcohol by age 16. Among boys, there also existed a significant baseline RSA by baseline cortisol interaction. Boys with low baseline RSA and high baseline cortisol had the highest levels of behavioral dysregulation. This increase in behavioral dysregulation was in turn related to initiation of alcohol use by age 16 and lower age of first sexual intercourse. We found sex-specific pathways to the initiation of alcohol use and risky sexual behavior through the combined activity of parasympathetic and neuroendocrine functioning. The study of multiple physiological systems may suggest new pathways to the study of age of onset of substance use and engagement in risky sexual behavior in adolescents.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84904273801&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84904273801&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1159/000365004

DO - 10.1159/000365004

M3 - Article

VL - 36

SP - 306

EP - 315

JO - Developmental Neuroscience

JF - Developmental Neuroscience

SN - 0378-5866

IS - 3-4

ER -