Oregon Youth Study

Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

A longitudinal study of the etiology of antisocial behaviors in boys.

Project Overview

The original goal of this longitudinal study, begun in 1983, was to examine the etiology of antisocial behaviors in boys, with a view to designing preventive interventions within the context of the family and the school. The entire fourth grade of boys and their parents from randomly selected lower-income neighborhoods in the Eugene/Springfield area were invited to participate. The sample consists of two cohorts, 1 year apart, who were 9-10 years of age at the start of the study and who have been assessed yearly. The sample size was 206 initially, and the sample size is now about 192 at age 35 years. The Oregon Youth Study proved to be a goldmine of data, with the yearly assessments and comprehensive assessment design providing the opportunity for addressing a broad range of mental health and developmental questions for adolescent and early adult men.

The 5-year follow-up study that began in October 2009 is focusing particularly on issues related to the course, including persistence and desistance, of alcohol use and alcohol use disorders in early midadulthood for men. We are using a Dynamic Developmental Systems approach, based on aspects of past and current social-contextual influences, to study these issues (including risk and protective factors within the realms of family, peer, psychopathology) and early to midadult risk and social influences (including romantic partner behaviors). The association of the course of alcohol use will be examined also in relation to the course of use of other substances (including tobacco, marijuana, and other illicit drugs) and to gambling. In addition, prediction models of treatment seeking will be examined.

Year Project Began: 1983
Funder: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Principal Investigator

Deborah Capaldi, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist
Oregon Social Learning Center

Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Primary research interests include: individual, social and contextual influences on the development of psychopathology and substance use from childhood through adulthood, particularly intergenerational influences on risk and substance use; life-span antisocial and associated behaviors, including early childhood risk, child and adolescent development, delinquent and criminal behavior, health-risking sexual behavior, use of alcohol and other substances, violence, depression, and fatherhood; and adjustment of couples, including interaction patterns and aggression, stress, and effects of relationship factors on health. Additional interests include longitudinal developmental modeling and study design, and observational assessment techniques.