Developmental processes and mechanisms: Ages 0-10

Robert A. Zucker, John E. Donovan, Ann S. Masten, Margaret E. Mattson, Howard B. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Little information is available on alcohol use in children up to age 10, although rates appear to be low. This agegroup is not without risk, however. In fact, numerous nonspecific and specific risk factors for subsequent alcohol use are prevalent in childhood. Alcoholnonspecific risk factors include externalizing and internalizing behaviors, as well as environmental and social factors (e.g., stress, physical abuse, or other aspects of social interaction). Nonspecific childhood factors (i.e., predictors) are being identified to target specific population subgroups for preventive interventions. These efforts have identified a variety of predictors of drinking onset during childhood or early adolescence that predict adolescent and youngadult problem drinking, as well as adult alcohol use and alcohol use disorders. Alcoholspecific risk factors also are being identified, including children's beliefs and expectancies about alcohol, as well as childhood social contexts (e.g., modeling of alcohol use by parents, portrayal of alcohol use in the mass media, and growing up in a family with an alcoholic family member). Together, these specific and nonspecific influences play a heavy role in determining a child's risk of or resilience to later alcohol use and related problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-29
Number of pages14
JournalAlcohol Research and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • AOD expectancies
  • AOD use behavior
  • Alcohol and other drug (AOD) use initiation
  • Children
  • Early AOD use onset
  • Environmental factors
  • Growth and development
  • Predictive factors
  • Protective factors
  • Psychological development
  • Risk factors
  • Social-environmental factors
  • Underage drinking
  • Youth


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