Elucidating the Links Between Mother and Father Alcohol Use Disorder and Adolescent Externalizing Psychopathology: A Test of Transmission Specificity Within Competing Factor Structures and Genetic and Environmental Liabilities

Veronica Oro, H. Hill Goldsmith, Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parental alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a substantiated risk factor for adolescent externalizing psychopathology; however, the level of specificity at which risk from parental AUD is transmitted to adolescent offspring should be interrogated further. The current study modeled competing factor structures of psychopathology in a sample of 502 adolescent twin pairs (Mage = 13.24 years) and tested associations with mother and father AUD. The bifactor model exhibited the best fit to the data when contrasted with correlated factors and general factor models. Paternal AUD predicted the externalizing and internalizing correlated factors, the adolescent P-factor but not the residual externalizing and internalizing factors, and the general factor. No significant associations with maternal AUD were noted. Lastly, the latent factors of adolescent psychopathology were all moderately heritable (h2 = 0.44–0.59) and influenced by the nonshared environment. Shared genetic factors primarily explained externalizing and internalizing covariance. Findings suggest that efforts to mitigate risk in offspring of fathers exhibiting AUD require broader approaches that address the full range of adolescent symptomology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-527
Number of pages16
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent psychopathology
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Comorbid externalizing and internalizing
  • Intergenerational transmission
  • Twin study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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