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Impaired Decision-making in Adolescents

This study has been completed.
ZonMw: The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by:
UMC Utrecht Identifier:
First received: March 2, 2007
Last updated: December 3, 2010
Last verified: December 2010
There is clear evidence that aggressive behavior and disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) in middle childhood are associated with an increased risk for substance abuse in adolescence. However, the exact underlying mechanism of this increased risk is unknown. It is likely that a biopsychological vulnerability in some aggressive children and children with DBD makes them liable to substance use and abuse. The investigators hypothesize that deficient decision making is such a biopsychological factor. In this study the investigators aim to test the latter hypothesis by investigating the decision making ability in a group of adolescents with DBD with and without substance use disorders. Decision-making is assessed with the IOWA Gambling Task (GT). This task mimics real-life situations in the way it factors uncertainty, reward and punishment. The GT is specifically designed to assess impaired decision-making in individuals who are unable to learn from their mistakes and make decisions that repeatedly lead to negative consequences. This characteristic may be common to individuals with externalizing disorders such as DBD, psychopathy, and substance use disorders.

Condition Phase
Adolescent Psychiatry
Antisocial Personality Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Early Phase 1

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Impaired Decision-making in Adolescents: A Vulnerability Factor for the Development of Substance Use and Abuse.

Further study details as provided by UMC Utrecht:

Enrollment: 152
Study Start Date: April 2006
Study Completion Date: September 2007
Primary Completion Date: June 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

This study consists of two substudies with adolescents in the age of 14-21 years. The first study group consist of adolescents with DBD with (n=30) and without (n=30) substance use disorders. These adolescents are recruited from orthopsychiatric, forensic psychiatric, and judicial institutions.

The second study group consists of a) ex-patients of the Utrecht Coping Power Program (UCPP)who previously participated to a follow-up study, and b) ex-patients who were treated as a child at an outpatient clinic of the UMC Utrecht. These latter groups were taken together and subdivided into a group with (n=30) and without (n=30) substance use problems.

For both studies healthy controls (n=80) are recruited. The investigators will start with healthy controls from earlier studies, and those are extented and will serve as control group for both studies.


Ages Eligible for Study:   14 Years to 21 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
DBD adolescents were recruited from judicial and forensic institutions. Healthy controls consisted of volunteers.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Having a DISC diagnosis DBD

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Having the DISC diagnosis Schizophrenia
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01253993

University Medical Center Utrecht
Utrecht, Netherlands, 3584 CX
Sponsors and Collaborators
UMC Utrecht
ZonMw: The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Walter Matthys, MD, PhD UMC Utrecht
  More Information

Responsible Party: W. Matthys, UMC Utrecht Identifier: NCT01253993     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 05-271
ZonMw 31100001 ( Other Identifier: ZonMw )
NIDA DA 16135 ( Other Identifier: NIDA )
Study First Received: March 2, 2007
Last Updated: December 3, 2010

Keywords provided by UMC Utrecht:
Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Substance abuse,
Iowa Gambling Task, Decision Making.

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Substance-Related Disorders
Personality Disorders
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Pathologic Processes
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on May 25, 2017