JOURNAL ARTICLE

Stability and change of genetic and environmental effects on the common liability to alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis DSM-IV dependence symptoms

R H C Palmer, S E Young, R P Corley, C J Hopfer, M C Stallings, J K Hewitt
Behavior Genetics 2013, 43 (5): 374-85
23760788
This study investigated the stability of genetic and environmental effects on the common liability to alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis dependence across adolescence and young adulthood. DSM-IV symptom counts from 2,361 adolescents were obtained using a structured diagnostic interview. Several sex-limited longitudinal common pathway models were used to examine gender differences in the magnitude of additive genetic (A), shared environment, and non-shared environmental effects over time. Model fitting indicated limited gender differences. Among older adolescents (i.e., age > 14), the heritability of the latent trait was estimated at 0.43 (0.05, 0.94) during the first wave and 0.63 (0.21, 0.83) during the second wave of assessment. A common genetic factor could account for genetic influences at both assessments, as well as the majority of the stability of SAV over time [rA = 1.00 (0.55, 1.00)]. These results suggest that early genetic factors continue to play a key role at later developmental stages.

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