Reward-Related Attentional Biases and Adolescent Substance Use: The TRAILS Study

Madelon E. van Hemel-Ruiter*, Peter J. de Jong, Albertine J. Oldehinkel, Brian D. Ostafin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current cognitive-motivational theories of addiction propose that prioritizing appetitive, reward-related information (attentional bias) plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of substance abuse. This study focused on reward-related attentional processes that might be involved in young-adolescent substance use. Participants were young adolescents (N = 682, mean age = 16.14), who completed a motivated game in the format of a spatial orienting task as a behavioral index of appetitive-related attentional processes and a questionnaire to index substance (alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis) use. Correlational analysis showed a positive relationship between substance use and enhanced attentional engagement, with cues that predicted potential reward and nonpunishment. These results are consistent with the view that adolescents who show a generally enhanced appetitive bias might be at increased risk for developing heavier substance use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-150
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2013

Keywords

  • attentional bias
  • reward sensitivity
  • punishment sensitivity
  • adolescence
  • addiction
  • INCENTIVE-SENSITIZATION
  • ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS
  • ALCOHOL-USE
  • SENSITIVITY
  • DRINKING
  • CUES

Cite this