Research indicates that externalizing and internalizing pathways emanated in childhood are connected to later drinking behaviors; however, no study has investigated the contemporaneous effects of the two pathways using a person-centered approach that categorizes individuals based on their various developmental patterns. This study examined the distinct patterns of concurrent development of aggression and depressive symptoms in childhood and their associations with later drinking behaviors using data from a 15-year Taiwanese cohort since age 8 (N = 2854, 49% females). Group-based multi-trajectory modeling identified four aggressive-depressive trajectory groups: Moderate, Aggressive, Depressive, and Comorbid, which manifested a sequential risk gradient in alcohol use. Comorbid group, characterized by persistently high levels of aggression and depressive symptoms, has the highest levels of alcohol use and drinking problems and the earliest onset of drinking. Aggressive and Depressive groups have higher levels of alcohol use and earlier onset of drinking than Moderate group. These findings imply the importance of monitoring aggression and depressive symptoms simultaneously and continually in childhood to prevent later drinking.
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