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Modeling the genetic and environmental association



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RESEARCH REPORT doi 10 1111 j 1360 0443 2008 02457 x Modeling the genetic and environmental association between peer group deviance and cannabis use in male twins Nathan A Gillespie1 Michael C Neale1 Kristen Jacobson2 Kenneth S Kendler1 3 Department of Psychiatry Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond VA USA 1 Department of Psychiatry University of Chicago Chicago IL USA2 and Department of Human Genetics Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond VA USA3 ABSTRACT Background Peer group deviance PGD is linked strongly to liability to drug use including cannabis Our aim was to model the genetic and environmental association including direction of causation between PGD and cannabis use CU Method Results were based on 1736 to 1765 adult males from the Mid Atlantic Twin Registry with complete CU and PGD data measured retrospectively at three time intervals between 15 and 25 years using a life history calendar Results At all ages multivariate modeling showed that familial aggregation in PGD was explained by a combination of additive genetic and shared environmental effects Moreover the significant PGD CU association was best explained by a CU PGD causal model in which large portions of the additive genetic 50 78 and shared environmental variance 25 73 in PGD were explained by CU Conclusions Until recently PGD was assumed to be an environmental upstream risk factor for CU Our data are not consistent with this hypothesis Rather they suggest that the liability to affiliate with deviant peers is explained more clearly by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that are indexed by CU which sits as a risk indicator in the causal pathway between genetic and environmental risks and the expression of PGD This is consistent with a process of social selection by which the genetic and environmental risks in CU largely drive the propensity to affiliate with deviant peers Keywords Cannabis drugs genes peers risks Correspondence to Nathan A Gillespie Virginia Institute of



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