Do Executive Function and Impulsivity Predict Adolescent Health Behaviour after Accounting for Intelligence? Findings from the ALSPAC Cohort
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Stautz, K., Pechey, R., Couturier, D., Deary, I. J., & Marteau, T. (2016). Do Executive Function and Impulsivity Predict Adolescent Health Behaviour after Accounting for Intelligence? Findings from the ALSPAC Cohort. PLOS ONE, 11 (e0160512)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160512
Objective Executive function, impulsivity, and intelligence are correlated markers of cognitive resource that predict health-related behaviours. It is unknown whether executive function and impulsivity are unique predictors of these behaviours after accounting for intelligence. Methods Data from 6069 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were analysed to investigate whether components of executive function (selective attention, attentional control, working memory, and response inhibition) and impulsivity (parent-rated) measured between ages 8 and 10, predicted having ever drunk alcohol, having ever smoked, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and overweight at age 13, after accounting for intelligence at age 8 and childhood socioeconomic characteristics. Results Higher intelligence predicted having drunk alcohol, not smoking, greater fruit and vegetable consumption, and not being overweight. After accounting for intelligence, impulsivity predicted alcohol use (odds ratio = 1.10; 99% confidence interval = 1.02, 1.19) and smoking (1.22; 1.11, 1.34). Working memory predicted not being overweight (0.90; 0.81, 0.99). Conclusions After accounting for intelligence, executive function predicts overweight status but not health-related behaviours in early adolescence, whilst impulsivity predicts the onset of alcohol and cigarette use, all with small effects. This suggests overlap between executive function and intelligence as predictors of health behaviour in this cohort, with trait impulsivity accounting for additional variance.
intelligence, impulsivity, alcohol consumption, behavior, working memory, behavioral and social aspects of health, intelligence tests, physical activity
This study was jointly funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Program (Policy Research Unit in Behaviour and Health [PR-UN-0409-10109]), and by the National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research [SYAG/019 - Task 4 – RG67185].
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (unknown)
Department of Health (PRP number 107001)
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160512
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/260172
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