Abstract # 133:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 05:15 PM-05:30 PM: (Grand Ballroom)


ANXIETY AS A MEDIATOR OF ALCOHOL INTAKE IN LABORATORY-LIVING RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

E. K. Wood1, A. N. Skowbo1, J. P. Capitanio2,3, L. del Rosso3 and J. D. Higley1
1Brigham Young University, 1042 SWKT, Department of Psychology, Provo, Utah 84602, USA, 2University of California-Davis, 3California National Primate Research Center
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     Studies show that the earlier teens take their first drink, the more likely they are to become dependent later in life. Because the origins of alcoholism often occur before the legal drinking age, investigating factors that lead to teenage alcohol use is an important step in the prevention of alcoholism. Studies show that anxious adolescent rhesus monkeys consume alcohol at levels that produce intoxication. As anxiety is a relatively stable temperamental trait over time, it is hypothesized that anxiety in adolescence will be associated with high alcohol intake. In the present study, 12 male rhesus macaques were tested in the Human Intruder Paradigm, a widely-used, standardized method of analyzing anxiety in the presence of an ecologically meaningful threat. One month later, subjects were allowed to freely consume an 8.4% alcohol/aspartame sweetened solution (v/v) for two hours each day, five days a week over a period of nine weeks. A One-Way ANOVA showed a significant main effect of anxiety [F(1,12)=7.03; p=0.023], with subjects characterized as highly-anxious consuming more alcohol (M=0.34±0.04 g/kg) than subjects characterized as having low anxiety (M=0.17±0.05 g/kg). Our results suggest that anxiety is associated with high alcohol intake among adolescent populations, a finding that may contribute to our ability to accurately predict susceptibility to excessive alcohol consumption and offer insights into the development of alcohol use disorders.