Navigation Links
Study: Genetic Risk for Substance Use Can be Neutralized by Good Parenting
Date:2/10/2009

A genetic risk factor that increases the likelihood that youth will engage in substance use can be neutralized by high levels of involved and supportive parenting, according to a new University of Georgia study.

Athens, Ga. (PRWEB) February 10, 2009 -- A genetic risk factor that increases the likelihood that youth will engage in substance use can be neutralized by high levels of involved and supportive parenting, according to a new University of Georgia study.

The study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, is the first to examine a group of youth over time to see how a genetic risk factor interacts with a child's environment to influence behavior.

"We found that involved and supportive parenting can completely override the effects of a genetic risk for substance abuse," says study co-author Gene Brody, Regents Professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. "It's a very encouraging finding that shows the power of parenting."

Brody and his colleagues, who include UGA Institute for Behavioral Research director Steven Beach and University of Iowa Associate Professor of Psychiatry Robert Philibert, focused their attention on a gene known as 5HTT that's involved in the transport of the brain chemical serotonin. Most people carry two copies of the long version of the gene, but those with one or two copies of the short version have been shown in several studies to have a greater likelihood of consuming alcohol and other substances and to have higher levels of impulsivity and risk taking.

The researchers interviewed 253 African-American families in rural Georgia over a four-year period. After obtaining informed consent from the parents and youth, they collected saliva samples for genetic testing.

The researchers found that nearly 60 percent of the youth had two copies of the long gene, while the remainder had one or two copies of the short gene that confers risk. As expected, the use of substances was low among 11 year-olds and increased as the youth aged. By age 14, 21 percent of the youth had smoked cigarettes, 42 percent had used alcohol, five percent had drank heavily and five percent had used marijuana.

Among youth with the genetic risk factor, those who received low levels of involved and supportive parenting increased their substance use at rate three times higher than youth with high levels of parental support. Among youth with high levels of involved and supportive parenting, the difference in substance abuse was negligible - regardless of genetic risk.

"In families that were characterized by strong relationships between children and their parents, the effect of the genetic risk was essentially zero," said Beach, who is also a Distinguished Research Professor in the psychology department of the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. "With this study and previous studies looking at environmental risk factors such as poverty, we're finding that in many cases the best way to help children is to help families become more resilient."

Involved and supportive parenting is a very powerful tool, and Brody said it's relatively simple to implement. Some examples include parents regularly spending time with children, communicating with them to gauge how they're doing, providing emotional support and helping them with their material and day-to-day needs such as homework.

"We all carry around genetic risks," said Brody, who also directs the UGA Center for Family Research, a unit of the IBR, "but fortunately very few people are impacted by those risks because their environment protects them."

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Mental Health.

For more information on the UGA Institute for Behavioral Research, see http://www.ibr.uga.edu/.

Writer:   
Sam Fahmy, 706/542-5361

Contact:
Gene Brody, 706/425-2982
Steven Beach, 706/542-6075

# # #

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/University_of_Georgia/substance_abuse/prweb2013454.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2009 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study: Genetic risk for substance use can be neutralized by good parenting
2. Pediatrics study: Involve adolescents in end-of-life medical decisions
3. U-M Study: 19% of Breast Cancer Patients Dont Receive Recommended Radiation After Mastectomy
4. New Study: Protein in the Morning Helps Dieters Stay on Track and Keep Weight Off
5. Twin study: Diabetes significantly increases risk for Alzheimers disease and other dementia
6. Study: Adding Vimpat significantly reduces partial-onset seizures in adults with epilepsy
7. New study: Short coverage lapses limit childrens access to health care services
8. New Study: Higher DHA Levels Improve Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Premature Girls
9. UNC study: Access to state childrens health insurance programs vital to disabled children
10. UNC study: Postmenopausal womens loss of sexual desire affects health, quality of life
11. Penn study: Breast cancer survivors call for more survivorship care from primary care physicians
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study: Genetic Risk for Substance Use Can be Neutralized by Good Parenting 
(Date:3/22/2017)... San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) , ... March 22, ... ... ISO certified medical imaging core lab with extensive therapeutic experience and operational excellence ... multi-year phase II immuno-oncology clinical trial for the treatment of non-small cell lung ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... and financial consultations to families and business owners in the greater Hampton Roads ... local American Cancer Society Relay For Life event. , Each year, hundreds of ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... and related services to communities across eastern Texas, is announcing a charity drive ... meals to hungry children and adults. , Consistently a top-rated nonprofit organization ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Schneider Insurance and Financial, ... business owners throughout the Yellowstone Valley region, is launching a charity event aimed at ... botanical garden in all of Montana State, and is home to a broad variety ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , ... March 22, 2017 , ... Chris Humphrey Insurance ... families and business professionals throughout the coastal plains region, is initiating a charity event ... cancer. , Dillyn was first diagnosed with leukemia on a Friday evening in September ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... TapImmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: TPIV), ... of innovative peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics for the ... that it will participate in two upcoming Investor ... Wilson , Chairman and CEO of TapImmune, will ... pipeline and partnering opportunities for its proprietary PolyStart ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 Hologic, Inc. ... has completed the acquisition of Cynosure, Inc., a leader ... share in cash. "We are pleased to ... working with Michael Davin and the entire ... large, rapidly growing medical aesthetics market," said Steve ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 TFS is pleased to announce the ... Tumaian , two global executive positions in Medical Affairs and Clinical ... Leadership Team and will report to Dr. Montse Barceló , ... ... 10 years of medical and scientific expertise gained across leading biopharmaceutical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: