Association Of Parental Divorce, Discord, And Polygenic Risk With Children’s Alcohol Initiation And Lifetime Risk For Alcohol Use Disorder

Researchers conducted a study to understand how parental divorce and discord, along with genetic factors, influence alcohol-related outcomes in children. They analyzed data from European and African ancestry participants and found that genetic risk for alcohol problems interacts with parental divorce and discord, affecting the age of alcohol initiation and the risk of alcohol use disorder. The study highlights the complex interplay between genetic factors and family environment in shaping alcohol outcomes, with some differences observed between different ancestral backgrounds. Children with a genetic predisposition to alcohol problems, who are also exposed to parental divorce and discord, face heightened vulnerability to developing alcohol problems. 

Kuo SI, Thomas NS, Aliev F, Bucholz KK, Dick DM, McCutcheon VV, Meyers JL, Chan G, Kamarajan C, Kramer JR, Hesselbrock V, Plawecki MH, Porjesz B, Tischfield J, Salvatore JE (2023) Parental divorce, discord, and polygenic risk on children’s alcohol initiation and lifetime risk for disorder. Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research, 47(4), 724-735. PMID: 36807915; PMCID: PMC10149624; DOI: 10.1111/acer.15042.