Among emerging adults, heavy episodic drinking (HED) is a major public health concern. Within the literature there is currently much heterogeneity within concurrent substance use and psychopathology. To begin to address this, ARCH Lab recently contributed to a paper titled “Latent Profile Analysis of Heavy Episodic Drinking in Emerging Adults: A Reinforcer Pathology Approach” which aimed to show discrete subgroups of HED based on alcohol, drug severity, and concurrent psychopathology using latent profile analysis.
The analysis resulted in three subgroups. The largest subgroup was characterized by low substance severity and psychopathology. The second largest subgroup was characterized by comparatively high alcohol and other drug severity (excluding tobacco) and high levels of psychopathology. The third subgroup exhibited high alcohol and smoking intake along side intermediate levels of other substance use and psychopathology.
These latent profiles may ultimately inform heterogeneity in the longitudinal course of HED in emerging adults.