Parental Discord Triggers Alcoholism: Study Finds

Parental Discord Triggers Alcoholism

Mental Health News

Researchers at Rutgers University explored how exposure to parental discord enhances the genetic risk for alcohol problems in children. The study is published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The Study

The research team surveyed data from The Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, a family study that collected information from 4,846 people of European ancestry and 2,005 people of African ancestry. Factors like relationship discord, symptoms of alcohol use disorder, and genetic predispositions for alcohol misuse were examined.

The Findings

The results revealed that parents can transmit a genetic risk for alcohol use disorder to their children not only biologically but also via the environment—such as parental marital discord, domestic violence, or divorce.

The authors elaborated: “The conventional understanding is that genetic risk for alcohol problems is passed in families from parents to children through the sharing of alleles, or variations of genes, from across the genome. What we found is that parents with more alleles for alcohol problems were also more likely to divorce or experience relationship discord, which in turn was associated with greater alcohol use disorder symptoms in their adult children.

To Know More You May Refer To

Thomas, N. S., Salvatore, J. E., Kuo, S. I., Aliev, F., McCutcheon, V. V., Meyers, J. M., Bucholz, K. K., Brislin, S. J., Chan, G., Edenberg, H. J., Kamarajan, C., Kramer, J. R., Kuperman, S., Pandey, G., Plawecki, M. H., Schuckit, M. A., Dick, D. M., & COGA Collaborators (2022). Genetic nurture effects for alcohol use disorder. Molecular psychiatry, 10.1038/s41380-022-01816-z. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01816-z

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