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Examining Development, Genes, and Environment [View Image]

A new study finds associations between genetic predisposition, sensation seeking, and social support in adults who drink alcohol

September 14, 2021

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A new study led by Former EDGE Lab Research Associate, Sally Kuo, Ph.D. along with Assistant Professor, Fazil Aliev, Ph.D., EDGE Lab Director, Danielle Dick, Ph.D., and Arizona State University collaborator Jinni Su, Ph.D., was recently published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. The study explores how genetic risk for alcohol consumption unfolds across development in relation to sensation seeking and social support. 

Results from the study indicated that predisposed genetic risk for alcohol consumption operated via two pathways: (1) genetic predisposition was associated with higher sensation seeking, which in turn was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, and (2) genetic predisposition was also associated with higher alcohol use indirectly via lower levels of family support. Additional findings demonstrate that those with a high level of social support, especially those with vigilant friendships, were less likely to engage in problem drinking even if they had a genetic predisposition for consumption. 

These findings highlight the important role of intermediate factors and gene–environment interplay in the pathways of risk from genetic predispositions to complex alcohol use outcomes. 

To learn more about the study, visit ASU Newswise, US News, and HealthDay

To read this publication, visit the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

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