Family dysfunction interacts with genes in the causation of antisocial symptoms.
ABSTRACT There is emerging evidence of gene-environment interaction effects on conduct problems, both from adoption studies and from a study using a measured genotype. An association between non-violent family dysfunction and conduct problems has also been reported, although not in the context of gene-environment interaction studies. The aim of this study was to examine the interaction of genes and family dysfunction in contributing to conduct problems in young people. Parents of 278 monozygotic and 378 dizygotic twin pairs, aged 5-18, from the CaStANET birth cohort twin register were questioned about zygosity, conduct problems and family environment. Using structural equation modeling we tested for main and interactive effects of genes and family dysfunction modelled as an environmental "moderator variable". Both main and gene-environment interaction effects were highly significant. It was concluded that a risk genotype conferring susceptibility to family dysfunction is responsible for most of the variance in antisocial symptoms in childhood and adolescence.
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ABSTRACT: A powerful longitudinal data source, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Children data, allows measurement of behavior problems (BP) within a developmental perspective linking them to menarcheal timing (MT). In a preliminary analysis, we evaluate the bivariate relationships between BP measured at different developmental periods and the timing of menarche. Correlations were not consistent with any correlational/causal relationship between BP and MT. In the major part of our study, MT was used to moderate the developmental trajectory of BP, within a genetically-informed design. Girls reaching menarche early had behavior problem variance accounted for by the shared environment; those reaching menarche with average/late timing had behavior problem differences accounted for by genetic variance. Our findings match previous empirical results in important ways, and also extend those results. A theoretical interpretation is offered in relation to a theory linking genetic/shared environmental variance to flexibility and choices available within the family in relation to BP.Behavior Genetics 09/2014; 45(1). DOI:10.1007/s10519-014-9676-4 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Both physiological and behavioral studies provide evidence to suggest that deficits in frontal cortical control circuits may contribute to the risk for developing alcohol dependence. Event-related potential (ERP) and eye blink responses to startle and short delay prepulse-plus-startle stimuli, and psychiatric diagnoses were investigated in young adult (age 18-30 years) men (n=135) and women (n=205) Mexican Americans. Women displayed a significant increase in the amplitude of the eye blink response to both the startle and pre-pulse-plus-startle stimuli. None of the psychiatric diagnoses were associated with differences in eye blink responses. ERP responses to the startle and prepulse-plus startle stimuli included a negative polarity wave at approximately 400 ms that was of the highest amplitude in the frontal leads (N4S). Women were found to have significantly higher amplitude N4S responses than men. Participants with alcohol dependence demonstrated significantly less inhibition and more facilitation of the N4S component by the pre-pulse stimuli. This finding was not associated with a diagnosis of: any other drug dependence disorder (including nicotine), anxiety or affective disorder, or conduct/antisocial personality disorder. The present study suggests that gender and a lifetime diagnosis of alcohol dependence may selectively contribute to this frontal late wave electrophysiological response to prepulse-plus-startle stimuli.Psychiatry Research 07/2011; 188(2):237-44. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2011.04.010 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Native Americans have some of the highest rates of marijuana and alcohol use and abuse, yet neurobiological measures associated with dependence on these substances in this population remain unknown. The present investigation evaluated the heritability of spectral characteristics of the electroencephalogram (EEG) and their correlation with marijuana and alcohol dependence in an American Indian community. Participants (n=626) were evaluated for marijuana (MJ) and alcohol (ALC) dependence, as well as other psychiatric disorders. EEGs were collected from six cortical sites and spectral power determined in five frequency bands (delta 1.0-4.0 Hz, theta 4.0-7.5 Hz, alpha 7.5-12.0 Hz, low beta 12.0-20.0 Hz and high beta/gamma 20-50 Hz). The estimated heritability (h(2)) of the EEG phenotypes was calculated using SOLAR, and ranged from 0.16 to 0.67. Stepwise linear regression was used to detect correlations between MJ and ALC dependence and the spectral characteristics of the EEG using a model that took into account: age, gender, Native American Heritage (NAH) and a lifetime diagnosis of antisocial personality and/or conduct disorder (ASPD/CD). Increases in spectral power in the delta frequency range, were significantly correlated with gender (p<0.001) and marijuana dependence (p<0.003). Gender, age, NAH and ASPD/CD were all significantly (p<0.001) correlated with theta, alpha and beta band power, whereas alcohol dependence (p<0.01), gender (p<0.001), and ASPD/CD (p<0.001) were all correlated with high beta/gamma band power. These data suggest that the traits of EEG delta and high beta/gamma activity are correlated with MJ dependence and alcohol dependence, respectively, in this community sample of Native Americans.Drug and alcohol dependence 09/2009; 106(2-3):101-10. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.07.024 · 3.28 Impact Factor