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Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype, parenting practices and adolescent alcohol use: testing the differential susceptibility hypothesis

  • Background: Recently, first evidence has been reported for a geneparenting interaction (G x E) with regard to adolescent alcohol use. The present investigation set out to extend this research using the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism as a genetic susceptibility factor. Moreover, the current study examined whether a potential G x E would be consistent with one of two models of geneenvironment interplay (genetic vulnerability vs. differential susceptibility). Methods: Data were collected as part of an ongoing epidemiological cohort study following the outcome of early risk factors from birth into adulthood. Two hundred and eighty-five participants (130 males, 155 females) were genotyped for the COMT Val(158) Met polymorphism and were administered an alcohol interview, providing measures of current frequency and amount of drinking at ages 15 and 19 years. Information on three dimensions of perceived parenting behavior was obtained from the 15-year-olds. Results: Adolescents homozygous for the Met allele showedBackground: Recently, first evidence has been reported for a geneparenting interaction (G x E) with regard to adolescent alcohol use. The present investigation set out to extend this research using the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism as a genetic susceptibility factor. Moreover, the current study examined whether a potential G x E would be consistent with one of two models of geneenvironment interplay (genetic vulnerability vs. differential susceptibility). Methods: Data were collected as part of an ongoing epidemiological cohort study following the outcome of early risk factors from birth into adulthood. Two hundred and eighty-five participants (130 males, 155 females) were genotyped for the COMT Val(158) Met polymorphism and were administered an alcohol interview, providing measures of current frequency and amount of drinking at ages 15 and 19 years. Information on three dimensions of perceived parenting behavior was obtained from the 15-year-olds. Results: Adolescents homozygous for the Met allele showed higher drinking activity at age 19 years when their parents had engaged in less supervision or were less involved, while their drinking activity was reduced under conditions of favorable parenting. No such relationship was found in individuals carrying the Val allele. Conclusions: The present findings correspond with the pattern of results predicted by the differential susceptibility hypothesis, suggesting that environmental variation would have a greater impact in individuals carrying a genetic susceptibility such that, in this group, exposure to negative environmental conditions would result in more adverse outcomes and the experience of favorable conditions would lead to more positive outcomes.show moreshow less

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Author:Manfred Laucht, Dorothea Blomeyer, Arlette F. Buchmann, Jens Treutlein, Martin H. Schmidt, Günter EsserGND, Christine Jennen-Steinmetz, Marcella Rietschel, Ulrich S. Zimmermann, Tobias Banaschewski
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02408.x
ISSN:0021-9630 (print)
Parent Title (English):The journal of child psychology and psychiatry
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication:Malden
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Catechol-O-methyltransferase gene; adolescents; alcohol use; gene-environment interaction; parenting
Volume:53
Issue:4
Pagenumber:9
First Page:351
Last Page:359
Funder:German Research Foundation; Federal Ministry for Education and Research
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert