Some Key Findings and Assessment Measures
|SUD = Substance Use
||HAR = High Average Risk
|DRD5 = Dopamine D5
||LAR = Low Average Risk
|MAOA = monoamine
||ERP = Event Related
|ECF = Executive
||SES = socioeconomic
- Data suggests an association between the
liability to SUD, the DRD5 and the MAOA genes. For DRD5
gene the association is stronger in females than males;
in the MAO-A gene the association is observed only in
- The DRD5 gene has been tentatively found
to be associated with novelty seeking behavior in females
but not in males.
- In prepubertal boys, parental genotype was
shown to correlate with aggressivity, an important
precursor of SUD liability.
- Significant similarity exists between
liability phenotypes of spouses as well as for the
personality traits associated with the risk for SUD.
- Diminished secretion of the stress hormone
cortisol was observed in HAR subjects in an anticipated
stress situation compared to LAR subjects.
- HAR youth demonstrated lower executive
cognitive functioning than LAR youth (e.g. planning,
attention control, thinking flexibility).
- No differences were observed between HAR
and LAR subjects on plasma pHVA (dopamine metabolite),
pMHPG (noradrenergic metabolite) and B-endorphin levels.
- No differences were found between HAR and
LAR subjects on platelet monoamine oxidase level B
- HAR subjects showed elevated behavioral
activity level measured by actigraph during tasks
requiring focused attention and behavior control.
- Substance use disorder (SUD) and bulimia
were found to be transmitted independently although there
is a high frequency of substance abuse among bulimics.
- HAR subjects revealed attenuated P300
ERPs and longer alpha synchronization than LAR
youth on the oddball task.
- Level of stress reactivity, measured by
saliva cortisol, was found to partly moderate the
association between paternal SUD and attenuated P300 in
- P300 latency and amplitude correlated with
executive cognitive functioning (ECF) capacity.
- Significant elevation of scores on both
externalizing and internalizing scales was found among
HAR children only if the fathers drug use persisted
after their offspring surpassed age 6, suggesting perhaps
a "critical" developmental period on SUD
- Male and female HAR youth demonstrated
greater cognitive, affective and behavioral dysregulation
compared to LAR youth on the Dysregulation Inventory
developed at CEDAR.
- Dysregulation scores in youth were found
to correlate with antisociality during childhood, as well
as parental and peer antisociality; Level of parental
involvement mediated the association between
dysregulation and antisociality.
- Adolescent onset SUD was observed to be
featured by higher lifetime rates of cannabis and
hallucinogen disorders, a shorter duration between first
exposure and dependence, and shorter interval between
first and second drug dependence diagnoses than adult
- Low executive cognitive functioning
capacity at age 10-12 was found to predict level of
reactive aggression two years later in HAR but not LAR
- Adolescent onset, early adult onset, and
mid-adult onset SUD were shown to differ with respect to
profile and natural history of SUD.
- Aggressivity in HAR but not LAR boys was
found to covary with cognitive distortions or
- Functional communication skills are lower
in HAR than LAR subjects; this capacity is related to
level of substance use measured two years later.
- The rate of DSM-III-R diagnosis of
learning disability was revealed to be higher in HAR
(11.7%) than LAR (5.7%) subjects.
- Parents of HAR youth exhibit higher levels
of risk for child abuse than LAR parents. Psychopathology
in offspring of SUD probands was found to be more
strongly predicted by parental childhood than parental
- Conjoint conduct disorder and tobacco use
predicted marijuana initiation with 80% specificity and
- Proband fathers with SUD retrospectively
reported a higher rate of disruptive behavior disorder
than proband fathers without SUD (51% vs. 7%); the former
subjects had a significantly higher rate of childhood
anxiety disorders (15% vs. 1%).
- Research directed at multidimensional
mapping of substance use topography during adolescence
revealed that single latent traits could be derived for
three dimensions: a) context of consumption, (b)
expectancies, and, (c) reinforcing effects.
- Preliminary analyses using growth curve
modeling indicated that the social environment best
predicted alcohol and tobacco use whereas cannabis use
was best predicted by conduct problems.
- Preliminary analysis suggest that initial
cannabis and tobacco use status is predicted by IQ;
initial status of tobacco use is predicted by SES;
initial alcohol and cannabis use is predicted by
fathers substance use status.
- At age 12-14, the odds ratio in HAR boys
Were 4.1 for boys to have had sex with one or more
opposite sex partners in the past year compared to LAR boys.
- At age 16, the odds ratio in HAR boys was
found to be 6.76 to have had sex with one or more
opposite sex partners in the past year.
- At age 19, based on a small sample (N=52),
HAR boys compared to LAR boys, show a trend towards
having had sex with someone they hardly know.
- At ages 16 (odds ratio trend = 1.97) and
19 (odds ratio = 9.18), HAR boys were found to be less
likely to eat 3 meals a day compared to LAR boys.
- At age 19, HAR boys were more likely to
have a poor diet compared to LAR boys (odds ratio =
- At age 16, HAR boys exhibited a trend
towards having suffered an accidental injury that
continued to bother them compared to LAR boys (odds ratio
- At age 19, the odds ratio of HAR boys was
observed to be 6.79 for having to face legal charges of