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Associations between alcohol dehydrogenase genes and alcohol use across early and middle adolescence: Moderation × Preventive intervention

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 May 2017

H. Harrington Cleveland*
Pennsylvania State University
Gabriel L. Schlomer
Pennsylvania State University
David J. Vandenbergh
Pennsylvania State University
Pedro S. A. Wolf
Pennsylvania State University
Mark E. Feinberg
Pennsylvania State University
Mark T. Greenberg
Pennsylvania State University
Richard L. Spoth
Iowa State University
Cleve Redmond
Iowa State University
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: H. Harrington Cleveland, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University, 315 East Human Development Building, University Park, PA 16802; E-mail:


Data from the in-school sample of the PROSPER preventive intervention dissemination trial were used to investigate associations between alcohol dehydrogenase genes and alcohol use across adolescence, and whether substance misuse interventions in the 6th and 7th grades (targeting parenting, family functioning, social norms, youth decision making, and peer group affiliations) modified associations between these genes and adolescent use. Primary analyses were run on a sample of 1,885 individuals and included three steps. First, we estimated unconditional growth curve models with separate slopes for alcohol use from 6th to 9th grade and from 9th to 12th grade, as well as the intercept at Grade 9. Second, we used intervention condition and three alcohol dehydrogenase genes, 1B (ADH1B), 1C (ADH1C), and 4 (ADH4) to predict variance in slopes and intercept. Third, we examined whether genetic influences on model slopes and intercepts were moderated by intervention condition. The results indicated that the increase in alcohol use was greater in early adolescence than in middle adolescence; two of the genes, ADH1B and ADH1C, significantly predicted early adolescent slope and Grade 9 intercept, and associations between ADH1C and both early adolescent slope and intercept were significantly different across control and intervention conditions.

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We thank Dr. Deborah Grove, Kerry Hair, and Ashley Price of the Penn State Genomics Core Facility for DNA purification and genotyping and Lee Carpenter and Amanda Griffin for their assistance in preparing the document. Work on this paper was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grants DA030389 and DA013709).


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