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:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their ... Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... Pro X users can now reveal the media of their split screens with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics to ... technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, an ... United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional part ... fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic image—like ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole ... enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese ... PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , ... kayla.belcher@frost.com ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , ... Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The vast majority of dialysis patients currently receive ... usually 3 times a week, with treatment times averaging ... equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen can be ... who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly dialysis patients ... for some duration of time. Residents in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: