Genetic Influence/Heritability

Vanyukov, M., Kim, K., Irons, D., Kirisci, L., Neale, M., Ridenour, T., Hicks, B.M., Rarter, R., Reynolds, M., Kirillova, G., McGue, M., & Iacono, W.G. (2015). Genetic relationship between the addiction diagnosis in adults and their childhood measure of addiction liability. Behavior Genetics, 45(1), 1-11. PMCID: PMC4445715

Transmissible liability index (TLI), developed employing a high-risk design and item response theory, enables quantification of the latent trait of liability to drug use disorders (DUD) in children. TLI has been shown to have high heritability and predict DUD in young adulthood. This study extends prior research and determines the genetic contribution of DUD liability measured by TLI to adult liability as indexed by DUD diagnosis. The study utilizes data from a twin sample tracked from age 11 to age 25. In addition to confirming TLI's high heritability and predictive validity, it shows that the genetic component of variance in TLI assessed in childhood accounts for over half of the genetic variance in DUD diagnosis and the entire phenotypic relationship between the two liability measures. This validates TLI as an early measure of DUD liability and supports its utility in early-age genetic and other mechanistic studies of DUD.


Vrieze, S.I, Hicks, B.M, Iacono, W.G, & McGue, M. (2012). Decline in genetic influence on the co-occurrence of alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine dependence symptoms declines from age 14 to 29. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 1073-1081. PMCID: PMC3513559

Results: Mean levels of abuse/dependence symptoms increased throughout adolescence, peaked around age20, and declined from age 24 to 29. The influence of the general factor was highest at ages 14 and 17, but decreased from age 17 to 24. Genetic influences of the general factor declined considerably with age, along with an increase in non-shared environmental influences.
Conclusions: Adolescent substance abuse/dependence is largely a function of shared etiology. As individuals age, symptoms are increasingly influenced by substance-specific etiological factors. Heritability analyses showed that the generalized risk is primarily influenced by genetic factors in adolescence, but non-shared environmental influences increase in importance as substance dependence becomes more specialized in adulthood.


Carlson, S.R. & Iacono, W.G. (2006) Heritability of P300 amplitude development from adolescence to adulthood. Psychophysiology, 43, 470-480.


Herndon, R.W., McGue, M., Krueger, R.F. & Iacono, W.G. (2005). Genetic and Environmental Influences on Adolescents’ Perceptions of Current Family Environment. Behavior Genetics, 35, 373-380.


McGue, M., Elkins, I.J., Walden, B. & Iacono, W.G. (2005). The Essential Role of Behavioral Genetics in Developmental Psychology: Reply to Partridge (2005) and Greenberg (2005). Developmental Psychology, 41, 993-997.


Freivalds, S. (2004). Nature and Nurture: A new look at how families work. Families by Law: A Adoption Reader (pp. 85-87) New York and London: New York University Press.


Commings, D.E., Wu, S, Rostamkhani, M., McGue, M., Iacono, W.G., Cheng, L.C. & Mac Murray, J.P.. (2003). Role of clolinergic muscarinic 2 receptor (CHRM2) gene in cognition. Molecular Psychiatry, 8, 10-11.


Malone, S.M., & Iacono, W.G. (2002). Error rate on the antisaccade task: Heritability and developmental change in performance among preadolescent and late adolescent female twin youth. Psychophysiology, 39, 664-673.


Elkins, I. J., M. McGue, et al. (1997). "Genetic and environmental influences on parent-son relationships: evidence for increasing genetic influence during adolescence." Dev Psychol 33(2): 351-63.
Genetic and environmental influences on self-reported parent-child relationships were examined in a sample of 824 individual male twins and their parents. Cross-sectional comparisons of twin similarity at ages 11 and 17 were undertaken to identify developmental changes in the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to family relationships. Significant genetic influences were found on perceptions of parent-son conflict, regard, involvement, and overall support. Heritabilities were significantly higher in older twins, suggesting increased genetic influence with age. Age differences were present primarily in the father-son relationship. These results provide support for the proposal of S. Scarr and K. McCartney (1983) that the importance of active gene-environment correlations increases during adolescence. Older adolescents may have more choice and impact on the nature of the relationships they have with their parents.

 

 
     
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