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Asselmann, Eva; Hilbert, Kevin; Hoyer, Jana; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Lieb, Roselind; Buehringer, Gerhard; Beesdo-Baum, Katja (2018): Self-reported volitional control in adolescents and young adults from a community cohort: Associations with current, past and future mental disorders. In: Psychiatry Research, Vol. 260: pp. 292-299
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Alterations in volitional control have been found for various mental disorders. However, it remains unclear to which degree such alterations vary by type of psychopathology and constitute preceding vulnerabilities or correlates of mental disorders. DSM-IV mental disorders were assessed among adolescents and young adults from the community at baseline (age 14-24) and in up to 3 follow-up assessments over 10 years (n = 2515) using a standardized diagnostic interview (DIA-X/M-CIDI). Self-reported volitional control was assessed at second follow-up (T2) when subjects were aged 17-28 using the German version of the Short Form of the Volitional Components Inventory. Linear regressions adjusted for sex, age and lifetime disorders revealed that anxiety and affective disorders were associated with widespread alterations in self-reported volitional control (lower self regulation, higher self inhibition and volitional inhibition), while substance use disorders were specifically associated with higher volitional inhibition. Logistic regressions adjusted for sex, age and prior lifetime psychopathology revealed that lower self-reported volitional control at T2 predicted incident panic, social phobia and substance use at T3 (follow-up interval M = 4.8 years). Findings point toward at least partly disorder-specific alterations in volitional control in mental disorders, which might be antecedent vulnerability factors and thus useful to guide early recognition and prevention.