Genotype-environment correlation by intervention effects underlying middle childhood peer rejection and associations with adolescent marijuana use

Kit Elam, Sierra Clifford, Ariana Ruof, Daniel S. Shaw, Melvin N. Wilson, Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aggressive behavior in middle childhood can contribute to peer rejection, subsequently increasing risk for substance use in adolescence. However, the quality of peer relationships a child experiences can be associated with his or her genetic predisposition, a genotype-environment correlation (rGE). In addition, recent evidence indicates that psychosocial preventive interventions can buffer genetic predispositions for negative behavior. The current study examined associations between polygenic risk for aggression, aggressive behavior, and peer rejection from 8.5 to 10.5 years, and the subsequent influence of peer rejection on marijuana use in adolescence (n = 515; 256 control, 259 intervention). Associations were examined separately in control and intervention groups for children of families who participated in a randomized controlled trial of the family-based preventive intervention, the Family Check-Up. Using time-varying effect modeling (TVEM), polygenic risk for aggression was associated with peer rejection from approximately age 8.50 to 9.50 in the control group but no associations were present in the intervention group. Subsequent analyses showed peer rejection mediated the association between polygenic risk for aggression and adolescent marijuana use in the control group. The role of rGEs in middle childhood peer processes and implications for preventive intervention programs for adolescent substance use are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • gene-environment correlation
  • marijuana use
  • middle childhood
  • peer rejection
  • time-varying effect modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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