Negative Urgency Mediates the Relation Between Genetically Influenced Serotonin Functioning and Alcohol Problems

Frances L. Wang, Laurie Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Serotonin (5-HT) functioning is associated with alcohol problems. However, the mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. In the current study the authors tested whether five separate dimensions of impulsivity (UPPS-P) mediated the relation between a polygenic score indexing 5-HT functioning and alcohol problems and whether any of these paths were moderated by age. Results showed that a 5-HT polygenic score predicted alcohol problems indirectly through negative urgency, but not any other facet of impulsivity. The 5-HT polygenic score also directly predicted alcohol problems. No age moderation was found. Findings suggest that negative urgency might be one important mechanism underlying the relation between genetically influenced 5-HT functioning and alcohol problems. However, genetically influenced 5-HT functioning likely influences alcohol problems through additional mechanisms. More broadly, results suggest that the previously observed transdiagnostic nature of 5-HT functioning on diverse types of psychopathology might be, in part, explained by its effect on negative urgency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-122
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • alcohol problems
  • impulsivity
  • negative urgency
  • polygenic risk score
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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