Child Perception of Parental Behavior in Twins: A Risk Factor for Substance Use Disorders?
The risk to develop a substance use disorder (SUD) is a significant public health concern, particularly as it relates to prevention and intervention strategies. Elucidation of the possible precursors to SUD is an objective of this study. The main purpose of this research was to evaluate the relationship between the childs perception of parental behavior and his/her risk for SUD as measured by an index of transmissible liability (TLI). Previous research points to a relationship between parental behavior and behavior problems in the child, which includes substance use disorders. Additionally, much of this research suggests the presence of genetic effects contributing to the individual variation in these traits. Participants were self-selected twin pairs and at least one parent attending the Twins Days Festival (Twinsburg, OH) in 2006 and 2007. Biometrical genetic analysis was applied to the sample of twin pairs on a measure of parental behavior perception (PB) and the TLI. Results of the research indicate that childrens perception of parental behavior is associated with liability for substance use disorders. It was found that the variation in parental behavior perception is due to shared and unique environmental effects, whereas the TLI has a high heritability (h2 = 0.79). The study also validates the liability index as a measure of transmissible risk for substance use disorders as well as provides support for the PB scale as a measure of an aspect of the childs environment.
Advisor:Elizabeth A. Gettig; Mary L. Marazita; Michael M. Vanyukov
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:06/26/2008