CitationZheng, B.; Fletcher, J.; Zheng, F.; & Lu, Q. (2022). Gene-by-peer-environment interaction effects on cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use among US high school students of European Ancestry. Soc Sci Med. vol. 309
AbstractResearch has shown that adolescents' substance use behavior is determined not only by individual characteristics but also by peer environments, and an emerging literature in social genomics has also found that individual genotypes moderate peer effects on egos' substance use. However, the previous literature on genetic by peer environment (GxPE) interaction effects is limited by the use of genetic measures with limited power and a lack of focus on causality. Based on a sample of about 4000 adolescents of European Ancestry from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, this study utilizes polygenic scores to examine GxPE interactions between ego's genetics and peers' cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use. The results show peers' cigarette and marijuana use positively affect ego's substance use, and peer effects are stronger when the ego is genetically predisposed to substance use. However, genetic propensities toward risk tolerance are found to weaken the peer effects on the ego's marijuana use. Overall, our findings provide new evidence for the existence of GxPE effects on adolescent substance use and reveal the multidimensional nature of GxPE effects.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleSoc Sci Med