Component III: Longitudinal Adoption Study of Adolescent Substance
This component is designed to assess genetic and environmental influences
on experimentation with tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs using
a longitudinal adoption design. It builds on more than 20 years of data
collected by the CAP (Colorado
Adoption Project website), and focuses on the transmission
of substance use and antecedent behaviors such as conduct disorder symptoms,
other behavioral problems, and academic achievement difficulties.
Principal Investigator: Robin
Young , Gregory
During the first five years of the center, beginning
in 1997, we accomplished the following highlights for Component III:
- Interviewed over 720 participants in the Colorado Adoption Project
at least once, and 295 of them twice (in late adolescence and early
- Obtained 558 DNA samples from CAP subjects either by swabs or mouthwash
and began candidate gene analyses using these samples.
- In conjunction with twin and Component II family data, established
the heritability of drug use, abuse, and symptoms of dependence from
specific substances and for general vulnerability, contributing to the
definition of a clinically valid, familial, and heritable Dependence
Vulnerability phenotype for initial QTL analysis.
- In conjunction with the longitudinal twin sample complimentary to
CAP, established a dopamine related genetic association with an early
indicator of behavioral disinhibition.
- Associated that indicator of behavioral disinhibition (CBC Externalizing
scores) to later substance experimentation in both boys and girls.
- Identified acceptance of adoption as a potential protective factor
against substance use in adolescence among adoptees.