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Presentation Master's thesis - Nathalie Schipper - Developmental Psychology

Last modified on 09-07-2024 11:10
Risk and Protection Factors in Alcohol Use: The Role of Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and Social Attunement from Ages 16 to 60
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Start date
12-07-2024 14:00
End date
12-07-2024 15:00

Roeterseilandcampus - Building G, Street: Nieuwe Achtergracht 129-b, Room: GS.05

Alcohol is still a widely used drugs worldwide, even though it has various health, mental, social and economic consequences. Especially in adolescents and young adults is the harmful use of alcohol high. However, when individuals transition into adults it has been seen that most of them mature out of the harmful use of alcohol. The current study focused on personality differences in reward and punishment sensitivity as per Gray's Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST) and the role of the Social Plasticity Hypothesis (SPH) in the proces of maturing out. The SPH suggests that brain plasticity, behavioral control, and social attunement protect against continued harmful drinking in adulthood. Social attunement is described as the need to harmonise with the social environment. This research investigated the relationship between RST and alcohol use through social attunement, across the ages of 16 and 60 years old. The findings aimed to inform prevention and treatment strategies for harmful alcohol use across ages. It was hypothesized that younger individuals with high reward sensitivity consume more alcohol due to increased social attunement, while older individuals consume less due to decreased social attunement. Exploratory hypotheses also examine punishment sensitivity's role in harmful drinking.