We examined whether externalizing problem behaviors (hyperactivity-impulsivity, aggressiveness, and inattention) predict illicit drug use independently, or whether their associations with drug use are mediated through cigarette smoking. We used a prospective longitudinal design within the FinnTwin12-17 study among Finnish adolescents with baseline at age 12 and follow-up surveys at ages 14 and 17. Path models were conducted with Mplus and included 1992 boys and 2123 girls. The outcome was self-reported ever use of cannabis or other illicit drugs at age 17. The predictors were: externalizing behaviors (hyperactivity-impulsivity, aggressiveness, and inattention) assessed by teachers and parents (age 12) and self-reported cigarette smoking (age 14). The findings differed across behavior studied. The association of hyperactivity-impulsivity with drug use was mostly mediated through earlier cigarette smoking. Concerning aggressiveness and inattention, the results were different among girls than boys. Among girls no significant mediation occurred, whereas among boys more consistent evidence on mediation was seen. Consistently in all models, the direct association of early cigarette smoking on drug use was strong and highly significant. We conclude that the associations of externalizing problem behaviors with illicit drug use are partially mediated through cigarette smoking. Although interventions targeting externalizing problem behaviors may protect adolescents from early onset smoking and subsequently experimenting with drugs, interventions to prevent cigarette smoking initiation are also important in reducing risk of later drug use.
Cites: Twin Res. 1999 Dec;2(4):274-8510723806
Cites: J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;49(1):61-920215927
We investigated genetic and environmental influences common to adolescent externalizing behavior (at age 12), smoking (at age 14) and initiation of drug use (at age 17) using the FinnTwin12 cohort data. Multivariate Cholesky models were fit to data from 737 monozygotic and 722 dizygotic twin pairs. Heritability of externalizing behavior was 56%, that of smoking initiation/amount 20/32%, and initiation of drug use 27%. In the best-fitting model common environmental influences explained most of the covariance between externalizing behavior and smoking initiation (69%) and amount (77%). Covariance between smoking initiation/amount and drug use was due to additive genetic (42/22%) and common environmental (58/78%) influences. Half of the covariance between externalizing behavior and drug use was due to shared genetic and half due to the environments shared by co-twins. Using a longitudinal, prospective design, our results indicate that early observed externalizing behavior provides significant underlying genetic and environmental influences common to later substance use, here manifested as initiation of drug use in late adolescence.
Maternal prenatal stress has been related to infant negative affect. However, it is still unclear how different sources of maternal prenatal stress such as depressive, anxiety and pregnancy-specific anxiety symptoms are associated with reactivity outcomes. This study aimed to test the associations between different sources of maternal prenatal stress and the aspects of infant emotional reactivity at six months.
Our study population (n=282) was drawn from the FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study. Prenatal stress was measured by questionnaires on maternal depression, general anxiety and pregnancy-specific anxiety at three time points across pregnancy (gwk 14, 24, 34). Based on the symptom scores, the sample was divided into mothers with high stress during pregnancy (n=110) and mothers with low stress during pregnancy (n=172). Mother-reported infant emotional reactivity and its subscales were measured six months postpartum.
After controlling for background variables and maternal postnatal symptoms, overall negative emotional reactivity (ß=0.20, p
Although use of illicit drugs shows varying degree of heritability, the influence of shared and unique environmental factors predominate among adolescents. We explored factors predicting use of cannabis and other illicit drugs among Finnish adolescent twins.
We used longitudinal data from the FinnTwin12-17 study with baseline at age 11-12 and follow-up at ages 14 and 17(1/2), including 4138 individuals. The outcome was self-reported ever use of cannabis or other illicit drugs at age 17(1/2). The potential predictors were measures reported by the twins, their parents or teachers. As individual factors we tested smoking, alcohol use, behavioral and emotional problems; as peer factors: number of smoking friends and acquaintances with drug experience; as family factors: parental substance use, socio-economic status and pre-natal exposure to nicotine. We used logistic regression models, controlling for twinship, age and sex, to compute odds ratios (OR) for each potential predictor. To adjust for within-family confounds, we conducted conditional logistic regressions among 246 twin pairs discordant for drug use.
13.5% of subjects had initiated use of cannabis or other illicit drugs by age of 17(1/2). When adjusted for within-family confounds, smoking, drinking, and aggressiveness, as well as smoking and drug use among peers predicted use of illicit drugs. In the final regression model, the significant predictors were female sex, early smoking onset, drinking to intoxication, having smoking peers and acquaintances with drug experience, father's weekly drinking to intoxication, and aggressive behavior among boys. Smoking initiation by age of 12 was the most powerful predictor among individuals (OR=26, p
To determine (1) the prospective associations of conduct problems during early adolescence with tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use in young adulthood and (2) to what extent these associations are due to overlapping genetic versus environmental influences.
A prospective twin study using biometric twin modelling.
A total of 1847 Finnish twins (943 males and 904 females) were interviewed in early adolescence, 73% of whom (n = 1353, 640 males and 713 females) were retained in young adulthood.
Symptom counts of conduct disorder (CD) criteria were obtained from a semi-structured clinical interview in early adolescence [age 14-15 years, mean = 14.2, standard deviation (SD) = 0.15]. Frequency of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use was obtained from a semi-structured clinical interview in young adulthood (age 19.9-26.6 years, mean = 22.4, SD = 0.7).
We found modest to moderate phenotypical correlations (r = 0.16-0.35) between early adolescent CD symptoms and substance use in young adulthood. In males, the phenotypical correlations of CD symptoms with all three substance use variables are explained largely by overlapping genetic influences. In females, overlapping shared environmental influences predominantly explain the phenotypical correlation between CD symptoms and tobacco and cannabis use.
Conduct disorder symptoms in early adolescence appear to moderately predict substance use in early adulthood. In males, genetic influences seem to be most important in explaining the relationship between conduct disorder symptoms and substance use whereas in females, shared environmental influences seem to be most important.
Among Finnish adolescent twins, we compared (a) a model that describes a direct impact of liability to tobacco use on cannabis and other illicit drug use with (b) a model that included a shared underlying liability for these substances. Furthermore, the extent to which genetic and environmental influences contribute to the covariation between liabilities to use these substances was examined.
Tobacco and illicit drug use were assessed at age 17.5 years. Twin data on 3,744 individuals were analyzed using standard biometrical methods. Two alternative multivariate models were fi t and compared with Mx, a statistical program for genetic model fitting.
The multivariate model, including a direct impact of the initiation of tobacco use on illicit drug use, provided the best fit to the data. In this model, the total variation in the initiation of illicit drugs was decomposed to genetic factors (32%), common environmental factors (20%), unique environmental factors (8%), and a component due to initiation of smoking (40%). Most variation in the progression of illicit drug use was the result of initiation of smoking and illicit drug use (83%).
Liability to initiate smoking directly affects illicit drug use in our best-fitting model. Our findings suggest that several common genetic influences may be related to tobacco use and illicit drugs but that a search for specific genes underlying illicit drug use is justifi ed as well. Such specific genes may hold a key to understanding biological vulnerabilities that lead to illicit drug use, which could aid in the development of targeted interventions.
Cites: Twin Res. 2004 Feb;7(1):82-9715053857
Cites: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003 Dec;60(12):1256-6414662558