Genetic effects on alcohol use can vary over time but are often examined using longitudinal models that predict a distal outcome at a single time point. The vast majority of these studies predominately examine effects using White, European American (EA) samples or examine the etiology of genetic variants identified from EA samples in other racial/ethnic populations, leading to inconclusive findings about genetic effects on alcohol use. The current study examined how genetic influences on alcohol use varied by age across a 15 year period within a diverse ethnic/racial sample of adolescents. Using a multi-ethnic approach, polygenic risk scores were created for African American (AA, n = 192) and EA samples (n = 271) based on racially/ethnically aligned genome wide association studies. Age-varying associations between polygenic scores and alcohol use were examined from age 16 to 30 using time-varying effect models separately for AA and EA samples. Polygenic risk for alcohol use was found to be associated with alcohol use from age 22–27 in the AA sample and from age 24.50 to 29 in the EA sample. Results are discussed relative to the intersection of alcohol use and developmental genetic effects in diverse populations.
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