1994-2001 current publications

Twin Research, 2003; 6: 490-496

Genetic and environmental analysis of behavioral risk factors for adolescent drug use in a community twin sample.

Siewert, E.A., Stallings, M.C., and Hewitt, J.K.

Adolescents with behavioral problems run a higher risk of developing substance use problems than adolescents without behavioral problems. In this study researchers investigated self reported behavioral problems in twins. Two groups of behavior were analyzed: externalizing behaviors (conduct problems, hyperactivity and school problems) and internalizing behaviors (low self-esteem, neuroticism, and social withdrawal). Using several models to interpret the data, researchers found evidence that externalizing and internalizing behavior are both heritable and genetically distinct from one another. These findings suggest that two separate genetic pathways lead to externalizing or internalizing behavioral problems. The type of behavioral problem may then influence the risk factors and motivations for substance use, abuse and dependence.

Division of Substance Dependence