Childhood Conduct Problem and Alcohol Use of Students in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria

By Omumu, Florence C.; Tibi, Pauline I. et al. | Ife Psychologia, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Childhood Conduct Problem and Alcohol Use of Students in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria


Omumu, Florence C., Tibi, Pauline I., Chenube, Olufunke O., Ariyibi, Olutomilayo A., Ife Psychologia


Early behavioural problems in children may place them at risk of alcohol abuse in later life. The study investigated the association between childhood conduct problem and alcohol abuse of students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The data for this cross sectional study was collected from a randomly selected sample of seven hundred and fifty-three (753) tertiary institution students in Nigeria. Questionnaire for Students in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria adapted from Loza (2006) Self Appraisal Questionnaire (SAQ) was used for data collection. The results showed significant influence of childhood conduct problem in the likelihood of the abuse of alcohol (β=2.189, Wald of x^sup 2^=102.155, and p=0.000). However gender and age do not play significant roles in determining the Alcohol use of students. It is recommended that early careful assessment and treatment of children with conduct problem may be valuable for future prevention of alcohol abuse

Keywords: Conduct problem, alcohol use, childhood

Previous research findings indicated significant association between early childhood conduct problem and later development of deviant behaviours (Loza & Loza-Fanous, 2002). Lynskey and Fergusson( 1995) found that children who showed tendencies to conduct problems at age 8 consumed 1.5 to 1.9 times more alcohol and had rates of alcohol-related problems, daily cigarette smoking, and illicit drug use that were 1.9 to 2.0 times higher than children with low conduct problem scores. Conduct disorder according to Wikipedia (2012) is a childhood behaviour disorder characterized by aggressive and destructive activities that cause disruptions in the child's natural environments such as home, school, place of worship , or the neighbourhood. Conduct problem or disorder is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents between age of four and sixteen. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-IV, 2000) categorizes conduct disorder behaviour into four main groupings : (a) aggressive conduct that causes or threatens physical harm to other people or animals, (b) non- aggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage, (c) deceitfulness or theft, and (d) serious violations of rules There is an additional recommendation by the work group of the 5th edition to include callous and unemotional traits(DSM-V, 2010) The Manual diagnostic criteria for Conduct disorder are: a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviour in which the basic rules of others or major age- appropriate societal norms or rules are violated as manifested by the presence of three or more of the listed behaviours below in the past 12 months , with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months . These behaviours are : aggression to people and animals- often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others often initiates physical fights , use weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun) physically cruel to people or animals - stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching, extortion, armed robbery) forced someone into sexual activity .Destruction of property- .often deliberately engage in fire setting with the intention of causing serious damage, deliberately destroyed others' property (other than by fire setting) . Deceitfulness or theft- often stolen things from someone else's house, building, or car, often lies to obtain goods or favours or to avoid obligations (i.e., "cons" others) , stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g., shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery) Deceitfulness or theft: often stays out at night despite parental prohibitions, beginning before age 13 , has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period) , often truant from school, beginning before age 13( DSM IV , 2000 & DSM-V, 2010). …

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