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12-08-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 7/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7/2020

Exploring how Family and Neighborhood Stressors Influence Genetic Risk for Adolescent Conduct Problems and Alcohol Use

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 7/2020
Auteurs:
Cristina B. Bares, Karen G. Chartier, Katherine J. Karriker-Jaffe, Fazil Aliev, Brian Mustanski, Danielle Dick
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Abstract

Previous research suggests that genetic risk factors may predispose to conduct problems and alcohol use in adolescence. Whether genetic risk factors interact with social contexts has not been well characterized among African American adolescents. Data came from a subsample of the Genes, Environment, and Neighborhood Initiative study comprising 501 African American adolescents, including 151 lifetime drinkers (56% female, mean age = 16.3, SD = 1.4). Genetic risk was assessed with polygenic risk scores for alcohol dependence. Analyses explored interactions between genetic risk and self-reported alcohol use, conduct problems, life stressors, and other covariates. The effects of two gene–environment interactions (G × E) were tested in the sample of alcohol exposed adolescents; one on conduct problems and the other on alcohol use. There were significant associations between polygenic risk for alcohol dependence and conduct problems. A significant G × E interaction showed the impact of genetic risk on conduct problems was stronger under conditions of high exposure to family and neighborhood stressors. Among this sample of African American adolescents, genetic risk for alcohol dependence was not directly associated with alcohol use but was related to more conduct problems. Further, the effect of genetic risk interacted with stressors from the family and neighborhood, so that the effect of genetic risk on conduct problems was stronger for individuals who reported greater stressors.

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