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30-11-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 1/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 1/2020

Developmental Pathways from Genetic, Prenatal, Parenting and Emotional/Behavioral Risk to Cortisol Reactivity and Adolescent Substance Use: A TRAILS Study

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 1/2020
Auteurs:
Kristine Marceau, Leslie A. Brick, Valerie S. Knopik, S. A. Reijneveld
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10964-019-01142-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Cortisol reactivity is a frequently studied biomarker of substance use, though infrequently examined in adolescence. However, past research provides evidence that multiple developmental influences, including genetics and both prenatal and postnatal environmental influences, contribute both to cortisol reactivity and adolescent substance use. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of these earlier developmental influences on cortisol reactivity to a social stress challenge and adolescent substance use (smoking, alcohol, and marijuana use frequency assessed at age 16 years), using data from the TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS; N= 2230 adolescents, 51% female). Developmental pathways included polygenic risk, prenatal stress, warm parenting (age 11), and internalizing and externalizing problems (intercepts and change from 11–16 years). Cortisol reactivity was associated with smoking but not alcohol or marijuana use. Externalizing problems were the stronger predictor of adolescent substance use, but internalizing problems also had an important role. Prenatal stress and middle childhood parenting operated via middle childhood externalizing problems, and parenting also operated via trajectories of growth of externalizing problems in predicting adolescent substance use outcomes. Further, there were protective effects of internalizing problems for alcohol and marijuana use in the context of a more comprehensive model. These developmental influences did not attenuate the association of cortisol reactivity and smoking. These findings suggest a need to understand the broader developmental context regarding the impact of internalizing pathways to substance use, and that it is unlikely that cortisol reactivity and smoking are associated solely because of common developmental influences.

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