A substance use offense reflects an encounter with law enforcement and the court system in response to breaking the law which may increase risk for substance use problems later in life. Individuals may also be at risk for substance use offending and substance use problems based on genetic predisposition. We examined a mediation model in which polygenic risk for aggression predicted adult substance use disorder diagnoses (SUD) via substance use offending in emerging adulthood. In addition, we explored for potential attenuation of genetic influences on these outcomes by a family-based intervention, the Family Check-Up (FCU). Secondary data analyses based upon the Project Alliance 1 sample was conducted among those with genetic data (n = 631; 322 from control and 309 from FCU intervention). The sample was ethnically diverse (30% African American, 44% European American, 6% Latinx, 4% Asian American, 3% Native American, and 13% Other). Greater polygenic risk for aggression was found to increase risk for substance use violations (age 19–23), which in turn was associated with greater likelihood of being diagnosed with SUD at age 27. A gene-by-intervention effect was found in which individuals in the control group had greater risk for SUD with increasing polygenic risk for aggression. Some convergence in results was found when replicating analyses in African American and European American subgroups. Results imply that genetic predisposition may increase risk for problematic substance use later in life via antisocial behavior, such as substance use offending, and that this can be attenuated by a family-centered intervention.
- Substance use offending
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics