Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

  • Director: Laura E. Gómez Sánchez
  • Frequency:
         February | May | August | November
  • ISSN: 0214-9915
  • Digital Edition:: 1886-144X
  • Address: Ildelfonso Sánchez del Río, 4, 1º B
    33001 Oviedo (Spain)
  • Phone: 985 285 778
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Early alcohol use and psychopathological symptoms in university students

Carina Carbia1, Montserrat Corral1, Luis Miguel García-Moreno2, Fernando Cadaveira1 and Francisco Caamaño-Isorna1

1 Universidade de Santiago de Compostela and
2 Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Background: Adolescent brain may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol.  Plus, psychopathological disorders tend to emerge in this period. Consequently, early alcohol use may increase the risk of psychopathological disorders, with time and sex-dependent effects. However, few studies have analyzed the relationship between alcohol consumption and adolescent psychopathology in the general population. The objective was to determine the association between age of onset of alcohol use and psychopathological symptoms in university students, separately for both sexes. Method: A cross-sectional study involving first-year university students (n = 3,696) was conducted. Symptoms were measured by the Symptom Checklist-R (SCL-90-R). The independent variable was age of first alcohol use. Dependent variables were the SCL-90-R dimensions, dichotomized. Alcohol consumption was considered a mediator variable. Data were analyzed separately for males and females. Results: The findings showed that a younger age of onset is a risk factor for the following global indexes: Global Severity Index, Positive Symptom Total for females, and Positive Symptom Distress Index, for males. Alcohol consumption showed a higher mediator effect for females than for males. Conclusion: Early age of alcohol use is associated with increased psychopathological symptomatology in both sexes during the college freshman year. The pattern of symptomatology is different in each sex.

Consumo temprano de alcohol y síntomas psicopatológicos en estudiantes universitarios. Antecedentes: durante la adolescencia el cerebro es especialmente vulnerable a los efectos del alcohol. El consumo temprano de alcohol puede aumentar el riesgo de sintomatología psicopatológica. Pocos estudios han analizado la relación entre consumo de alcohol y sintomatología psicopatológica en adolescentes en la población general. El objetivo de este estudio es determinar la asociación entre edad de inicio del consumo de alcohol y síntomas psicopatológicos en estudiantes universitarios, separadamente para ambos sexos. Método: estudio transversal en estudiantes universitarios (n = 3.696). Los síntomas se midieron con el SCL-90-R. La variable independiente fue la edad de inicio del consumo de alcohol. Las variables dependientes fueron las dimensiones del SCL-90-R dicotomizadas. El consumo de alcohol fue una variable mediadora. Resultados: una temprana edad de inicio es un factor de riesgo para los siguientes índices globales: Índice de Severidad Global, Total de Síntomas Positivos, solo en mujeres, e Índice de Malestar, solo para hombres. El consumo de alcohol muestra un mayor efecto mediador en las mujeres. Conclusión: una temprana edad de inicio en el consumo de alcohol se asocia con un aumento de sintomatología psicopatológica en ambos sexos durante el primer año de Universidad. El patrón de sintomatología difiere en hombres y mujeres.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2023:  SJR = 1.07;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)