Professional Education

  • Predoctoral Fellow, Yale University School of Medicine, Clinical Psychology (2012)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Southern California (2012)
  • Master of Public Health, University of Southern California (2012)
  • Master of Arts, University of Southern California (2008)
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of California Berkeley (2005)

Stanford Advisors

Research & Scholarship

Lab Affiliations


Journal Articles

  • Neuropsychological deficits in major depression reflect genetic/familial risk more than clinical history: A monozygotic discordant twin-pair study. Psychiatry research Hsu, K. J., Young-Wolff, K. C., Kendler, K. S., Halberstadt, L. J., Prescott, C. A. 2014; 215 (1): 87-94


    Neuropsychological deficits have been associated with major depression (MD) and persist in some individuals even after symptom remission. However, it is unclear if the deficits are a consequence of MD or are pre-existing and reflect MD vulnerability. We addressed this issue by studying 117 twins from monozygotic (MZ) pairs discordant for lifetime history of DSM-III-R defined MD and 41 twins from MZ pairs in which neither twin had experienced MD. Our assessment included a structured clinical interview and measures from the WMS-III and WAIS-III. The "unaffected" twins from discordant pairs showed the same pattern of performance as their affected cotwins on measures of attention, working memory, verbal memory, and visuo-spatial processing. Compared to twins from pairs with no MD history, twins in discordant pairs had lower performance in the domains of attention, memory, visuo-spatial processing, and general knowledge. However, after adjusting for sex and age, the groups differed only on attention and general knowledge. The similar performance of twins in pairs discordant for MD suggests that familial risk for MD has a greater influence on neuropsychological functioning than individual MD history. Findings of impairment in individuals euthymic for MD are more consistent with pre-existing deficits than scarring effects of MD.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.10.037

    View details for PubMedID 24262663

  • Increased Cigarette Tax is Associated with Reductions in Alcohol Consumption in a Longitudinal US Sample ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH Young-Wolff, K. C., Kasza, K. A., Hyland, A. J., McKee, S. A. 2014; 38 (1): 241-248


    Cigarette taxation has been recognized as one of the most significant policy instruments to reduce smoking. Smoking and drinking are highly comorbid behaviors, and the public health benefits of cigarette taxation may extend beyond smoking-related outcomes to impact alcohol consumption. The current study is the first to test whether increases in cigarette taxes are associated with reductions in alcohol consumption among smokers using a large, prospective U.S. sample.Our sample included 21,473 alcohol consumers from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to evaluate whether increases in cigarette taxes between Waves 1 (2001 to 2002) and 2 (2004 to 2005) were associated with reductions in quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, adjusting for demographics, baseline alcohol consumption, and alcohol price. Stratified analyses were conducted by sex, hazardous drinking status, and age and income group.Increases in cigarette taxes were associated with modest reductions in typical quantity of alcohol consumption and frequency of binge drinking among smokers. Cigarette taxation was not associated with changes in alcohol consumption among nonsmokers. In analyses stratified by sex, the inverse associations of cigarette taxes with typical quantity and binge drinking frequency were found only for male smokers. Further, the inverse association of cigarette taxation and alcohol consumption was stronger among hazardous drinkers (translating into approximately 1/2 a drink less alcohol consumption per episode), young adult smokers, and smokers in the lowest income category.Findings from this longitudinal, epidemiological study suggest increases in cigarette taxes are associated with modest to moderate reductions in alcohol consumption among vulnerable groups. Additional research is needed to further quantify the public health benefits of cigarette taxation on alcohol consumption and to evaluate the potential broader crossover effects of cigarette taxation on other health behaviors.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/acer.12226

    View details for Web of Science ID 000329885900029

    View details for PubMedID 23930623

  • Multiple Risk-Behavior Profiles of Smokers With Serious Mental Illness and Motivation for Change. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association Prochaska, J. J., Fromont, S. C., Delucchi, K., Young-Wolff, K. C., Benowitz, N. L., Hall, S., Bonas, T., Hall, S. M. 2014


    Objective: Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) are dying on average 25 years prematurely. The leading causes are chronic preventable diseases. In the context of a tobacco-treatment trial, this exploratory study examined the behavioral risk profiles of adults with SMI to identify broader interventional needs. Method: Recruited from five acute inpatient psychiatry units, participants were 693 adult smokers (recruitment rate = 76%, 50% male, 45% Caucasian, age M = 39, 49% had income < $10,000) diagnosed with mood disorders (71%), substance-use disorders (63%), posttraumatic stress disorder (39%), psychotic disorders (25%), and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (25%). The Staging Health Risk Assessment, the primary measure used in this study, screened for risk status and readiness to change 11 health behaviors, referencing the period prior to acute hospitalization. Results: Participants averaged 5.2 (SD = 2.1) risk behaviors, including smoking (100%), high-fat diet (68%), inadequate fruits/vegetables (67%), poor sleep (53%), physical inactivity (52%), and marijuana use (46%). The percent prepared to change ranged from 23% for tobacco and marijuana to 76% for depression management. Latent class analysis differentiated three risk groups: the global higher risk group included patients elevated on all risk behaviors; the global lower risk group was low on all risks; and a mood and metabolic risk group, characterized by inactivity, unhealthy diet, sleep problems, and poor stress and depression management. The global higher risk group (11% of sample) was younger, largely male, and had the greatest number of risk behaviors and mental health diagnoses; had the most severe psychopathologies, addiction-treatment histories, and nicotine dependence; and the lowest confidence for quitting smoking and commitment to abstinence. Conclusion: Most smokers with SMI engaged in multiple risks. Expanding targets to treat co-occurring risks and personalizing treatment to individuals' multibehavioral profiles may increase intervention relevance, interest, and impact on health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0035164

    View details for PubMedID 24467257

  • Patterns of Resource Utilization and Mental Health Symptoms Among Women Exposed to Multiple Types of Victimization: A Latent Class Analysis JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE Young-Wolff, K. C., Hellmuth, J., Jaquier, V., Swan, S. C., Connell, C., Sullivan, T. P. 2013; 28 (15): 3059-3083


    Although the value of resources aimed to support women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) is clear, few studies have investigated how exposure to multiple types of victimization influences women's resource utilization. We applied latent class analysis (LCA) to a sample of 412 women who used IPV in their current relationships to test whether women's resource utilization is associated with different patterns of victimization, including current IPV victimization, past IPV victimization, and childhood victimization. Three classes of women were identified: the Low Cumulative IPV class (n = 121) included women with a low prevalence of past IPV victimization and low severity of current IPV victimization; The High Past/Low Current IPV class (n = 258) included women with a high prevalence of past IPV victimization but low severity of current IPV victimization; and the High Cumulative IPV class (n = 33) included women with a high prevalence of past IPV victimization and severe current IPV victimization. Multiple types of childhood victimization were highly prevalent among women in all three classes. Women in the High Cumulative IPV class used a greater variety of resources, experienced a greater number of posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms, drug problems, and used more severe IPV aggression compared to women in other classes. These findings highlight the heterogeneity of resource utilization among women in relationships characterized by bidirectional IPV and underscore the potential clinical utility of adapting services to meet the specific needs of women with unique profiles of victimization.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0886260513488692

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323737800005

    View details for PubMedID 23686622

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Clusters, Alcohol Misuse, and Women's Use of Intimate Partner Violence JOURNAL OF TRAUMATIC STRESS Hellmuth, J. C., Jaquier, V., Young-Wolff, K., Sullivan, T. P. 2013; 26 (4): 451-458


    Exploring how PTSD and alcohol misuse relate to women's use of intimate partner violence (IPV) is vital to develop our understanding of why some women may engage in IPV, which can serve to maximize intervention efforts for women. This study examined the extent to which posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom clusters are directly and indirectly related to women's use of IPV through pathways involving alcohol misuse while controlling for severity of women's IPV victimization. The sample was comprised of substance-using, low socioeconomic status community women (N = 143) currently experiencing IPV victimization. The majority of the sample was African American (n = 115, 80.42%). This sample had an average annual household income of $14,368.68 (SD = $12,800.68) and the equivalent of a high school education (11.94 years, SD = 1.32). Path analyses indicated that the strongest statistical relationship emerged between women's use of IPV and women's IPV victimization. PTSD reexperiencing and numbing symptom severity was related to women's use of psychological, minor physical, and severe physical IPV; however, these relationships were indirect through alcohol misuse. Findings lend preliminary support for the application of the self-medication hypothesis to the study of PTSD, alcohol misuse, and IPV among women.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jts.21829

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322898400005

    View details for PubMedID 23868671

  • Longitudinal Associations Between Smoking Cessation Medications and Alcohol Consumption Among Smokers in the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH McKee, S. A., Young-Wolff, K. C., Harrison, E. L., Cummings, K. M., Borland, R., Kahler, C. W., Fong, G. T., Hyland, A. 2013; 37 (5): 804-810


    Available evidence suggests that quitting smoking does not alter alcohol consumption. However, smoking cessation medications may have a direct impact on alcohol consumption independent of any effects on smoking cessation. Using an international longitudinal epidemiological sample of smokers, we evaluated whether smoking cessation medications altered alcohol consumption independent of quitting smoking.Longitudinal data were analyzed from the International Tobacco Control Four Country (ITC-4) Survey between 2007 and 2008, a telephone survey of nationally representative samples of smokers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States (n = 4,995). Quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, use of smoking cessation medications (varenicline, nicotine replacement [NRT], and no medications), and smoking behavior were assessed across 2 yearly waves. Controlling for baseline drinking and changes in smoking status, we evaluated whether smoking cessation medications were associated with reduced alcohol consumption.Varenicline was associated with a reduced likelihood of any drinking compared with nicotine replacement (OR = 0.56; 95% CI = 0.34 to 0.94), and consuming alcohol once a month or more compared to nicotine replacement (OR = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.27 to 0.69) or no medication (OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.41 to 0.99). Nicotine replacement was associated with an increased likelihood of consuming alcohol once a month or more compared to no medication (OR = 1.14; 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.25). Smoking cessation medications were not associated with more frequent drinking (once a week or more) or typical quantity consumed per episode. Medication effects on drinking frequency were independent of smoking cessation.This epidemiological investigation demonstrated that varenicline was associated with a reduced frequency of alcohol consumption. Continued work should clarify under what conditions nicotine replacement therapies may increase or decrease patterns of alcohol consumption.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/acer.12041

    View details for Web of Science ID 000318113600013

    View details for PubMedID 23240586

  • Smoke-free policies in drinking venues predict transitions in alcohol use disorders in a longitudinal US sample DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE Young-Wolff, K. C., Hyland, A. J., Desai, R., Sindelar, J., Pilver, C. E., McKee, S. A. 2013; 128 (3): 214-221


    Smoke-free legislation prohibiting smoking in indoor public venues, including bars and restaurants, is an effective means of reducing tobacco use and tobacco-related disease. Given the high comorbidity between heavy drinking and smoking, it is possible that the public health benefits of smoke-free policies extend to drinking behaviors. However, no prior study has examined whether tobacco legislation impacts the likelihood of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) over time. The current study addresses this gap in the literature using a large, prospective U.S. sample.Using data from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), we utilized logistic regression to examine whether the implementation of state-wide smoke-free legislation in bars and restaurants between Waves I (2001-2002) and II (2004-2005) predicted changes in DSM-IV AUD status (remission, onset, recurrence) in current drinkers at Wave I (n=19,763) and participants who drank in public ?once per month (n=5913).Individuals in states that implemented smoke-free legislation in drinking venues had a higher likelihood of AUD remission compared to participants in states without such legislation. Among public drinkers, smoke-free legislation was associated with a greater likelihood of AUD remission and a lower likelihood of AUD onset. These findings were especially pronounced among smokers, men, and younger age groups.These results demonstrated the protective effects of smoke-free bar and restaurant policies on the likelihood of AUDs; furthermore, these findings call attention to an innovative legislative approach to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with AUDs.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.08.028

    View details for Web of Science ID 000315756600006

    View details for PubMedID 22999418

  • Validity of self-reported adult secondhand smoke exposure. Tobacco control Prochaska, J. J., Grossman, W., Young-Wolff, K. C., Benowitz, N. L. 2013


    Exposure of adults to secondhand smoke (SHS) has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease. The current study evaluated brief self-report screening measures for accurately identifying adult cardiology patients with clinically significant levels of SHS exposure in need of intervention.A cross-sectional study conducted in a university-affiliated cardiology clinic and cardiology inpatient service.Participants were 118 non-smoking patients (59% male, mean age=63.6 years, SD=16.8) seeking cardiology services.Serum cotinine levels and self-reported SHS exposure in the past 24 h and 7 days on 13 adult secondhand exposure to smoke (ASHES) items.A single item assessment of SHS exposure in one's own home in the past 7 days was significantly correlated with serum cotinine levels (r=0.41, p<0.001) with sensitivity ≥75%, specificity >85% and correct classification rates >85% at cotinine cut-off points of >0.215 and >0.80 ng/mL. The item outperformed multi-item scales, an assessment of home smoking rules, and SHS exposure assessed in other residential areas, automobiles and public settings. The sample was less accurate at self-reporting lower levels of SHS exposure (cotinine 0.05-0.215 ng/mL).The single item ASHES-7d Home screener is brief, assesses recent SHS exposure over a week's time, and yielded the optimal balance of sensitivity and specificity. The current findings support use of the ASHES-7d Home screener to detect SHS exposure and can be easily incorporated into assessment of other major vital signs in cardiology.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051174

    View details for PubMedID 23997071

  • Shared genetic contributions to early-onset drinking and drinking to cope motives ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS Young-Wolff, K. C., Kendler, K. S., Prescott, C. A. 2012; 37 (10): 1176-1180


    Recent evidence from empirical studies indicates that individuals who begin drinking at an early age may be more likely to use alcohol to cope with negative mood states and stress; however, the mechanisms underlying this association are unclear. One possibility is that early drinking directly increases risk for drinking to cope (DTC). Alternatively, the association between early drinking and DTC may be indirect, attributable to overlapping genetic or environmental factors. No prior genetically informative study has investigated the sources of covariation underlying the early-onset drinking-DTC association.Early-onset drinking (before age 15) was assessed using structured clinical interviews in a sample of 7130 male and female participants aged 19-56 years from the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders (VATSPSUD, Kendler & Prescott, 2006). DTC was assessed using the mood management scale of the alcohol use inventory (Horn & Wanberg, 1983). The sources of the covariation between early first drink and DTC were estimated using bivariate twin modeling.Early drinking onset was reported by 28% of males and 16% of females and was associated with significantly higher DTC scores (phenotypic correlation: males = .19, females = .22). Results from bivariate twin models indicated that the association between early-onset drinking and DTC was completely attributable to shared genetic factors that contribute to both behaviors.Greater DTC among early-onset drinkers may not reflect a direct causal process, as shared biological pathways may explain vulnerability to stress-related drinking seen among early-onset drinkers.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.05.009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307205200017

    View details for PubMedID 22694983

  • Heritability of alcohol dependence is similar in women and men. Evidence-based mental health Young-Wolff, K. C., Chereji, E., Prescott, C. A. 2012; 15 (3): 57-?

    View details for DOI 10.1136/ebmental-2012-100670

    View details for PubMedID 22581016

  • Interactive Effects of Childhood Maltreatment and Recent Stressful Life Events on Alcohol Consumption in Adulthood JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS Young-Wolff, K. C., Kendler, K. S., Prescott, C. A. 2012; 73 (4): 559-569


    Childhood maltreatment is associated with early alcohol use initiation, alcohol-related problem behaviors, and alcohol use disorders in adulthood. Heavy drinking risk among individuals exposed to childhood maltreatment could be partly attributable to stress sensitization, whereby early adversity leads to psychobiological changes that heighten sensitivity to subsequent stressors and increase risk for stress-related drinking. We addressed this issue by examining whether the association between past-year stressful life events and past-year drinking density, a weighted quantity-frequency measure of alcohol consumption, was stronger among adults exposed to childhood maltreatment.Drinking density, stressful life events, and child maltreatment were assessed using structured clinical interviews in a sample of 4,038 male and female participants ages 20-58 years from the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders. Stress sensitization was examined using hierarchical multiple regression analyses to test whether stressful events moderated the association between maltreatment and drinking density. Analyses were stratified by sex and whether the impact was different for independent stressful events or dependent stressful events as related to a participant's actions.Independent stressful events were associated with heavier drinking density among women exposed to maltreatment. In contrast, drinking density was roughly the same across independent stressful life events exposure among women not exposed to maltreatment. There was little evidence for Maltreatment × Independent Stressor interactions in men or Maltreatment × Dependent Stressor interactions in either gender.Early maltreatment may have direct effects on vulnerability to stress-related drinking among women, particularly in association with stressors that are out of one's control.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306202500006

    View details for PubMedID 22630794

  • The effects of age at drinking onset and stressful life events on alcohol use in adulthood: a replication and extension using a population-based twin sample. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research Lee, L. O., Young-Wolff, K. C., Kendler, K. S., Prescott, C. A. 2012; 36 (4): 693-704


    A study by Dawson and colleagues (Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2007; 31:69) using data from National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Condition found earlier drinking onset age, and higher levels of past-year stressful life events (SLE) were associated with higher past-year alcohol consumption. The aims of our study were as follows: (i) to attempt to replicate this interaction; (ii) to extend it by examining sex and event dependence as potential moderators of the effect; and (iii) to estimate the roles of genetic and environmental factors in mediating the overlap of early drinking onset and SLE in their relations with alcohol consumption.Data were from 1,382 female and 2,218 male drinkers interviewed as part of the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders. Regression models were used to evaluate the main and interactive effects of early drinking onset and moderate or severe past-year SLE on past-year drinking density (PYDD), a weighted quantity-frequency measure of alcohol consumption. Analyses adjusted for demographic covariates and were stratified by sex and whether SLE were independent or dependent on the person's actions, as rated by interviewers. Structural twin models were used to estimate the degree to which early drinking onset, SLE, and their interaction accounted for additive genetic, common environmental and individual-specific variance in PYDD.We replicated the prior finding of a main effect of higher alcohol consumption among individuals reporting earlier drinking onset. Age at drinking onset accounted for about 5% of the variation in PYDD, and this association was mostly attributable to overlapping genetic influences. Evidence for an interaction between onset age and SLE was generally weak, possibly because of lower power and other methodological differences from Dawson and colleagues' study. However, there was some evidence consistent with an interaction of higher PYDD among early drinking men who experienced independent SLE and early drinking women with dependent SLE.We confirmed prior findings of an association between early age at drinking onset with higher past-year drinking among young- and middle-aged adults and found limited evidence supporting a replication for higher stress-related drinking among early-onset drinkers. The association is consistent with early onset and stress-related drinking being attributable to overlapping genetic liability. Among early drinkers, our results suggest sex differences in consumption with regard to event dependence.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01630.x

    View details for PubMedID 21895722

  • Heritability and Longitudinal Stability of Schizotypal Traits During Adolescence BEHAVIOR GENETICS Ericson, M., Tuvblad, C., Raine, A., Young-Wolff, K., Baker, L. A. 2011; 41 (4): 499-511


    The study investigated the genetic and environmental etiology of schizotypal personality traits in a non-selected sample of adolescent twins, measured on two occasions between the ages of 11 and 16 years old. The 22-item Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire- Child version (SPQ-C) was found to be factorially similar to the adult version of this instrument, with three underlying factors (Cognitive-Perceptual, Interpersonal-Affective, and Disorganization). Each factor was heritable at age 11-13 years (h (2) = 42-53%) and 14-16 years old (h (2) = 38-57%). Additive genetic and unique environmental influences for these three dimensions of schizotypal personality acted in part through a single common latent factor, with additional genetic effects specific to both Interpersonal-Affective and Disorganization subscales at each occasion. The longitudinal correlation between the latent schizotypy factor was r = 0.58, and genetic influences explained most of the stability in this latent factor over time (81%). These longitudinal data demonstrate significant genetic variance in schizotypal traits, with moderate stability between early to middle adolescence. In addition to common influences between the two assessments, there were new genetic and non-shared environmental effects that played a role at the later assessment, indicating significant change in schizotypal traits and their etiologies throughout adolescence.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10519-010-9401-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292040700004

    View details for PubMedID 21369821

  • The influence of gene-environment interactions on alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders: A comprehensive review CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW Young-Wolff, K. C., Enoch, M., Prescott, C. A. 2011; 31 (5): 800-816


    Since 2005, a rapidly expanding literature has evaluated whether environmental factors such as socio-cultural context and adversity interact with genetic influences on drinking behaviors. This article critically reviews empirical research on alcohol-related genotype-environment interactions (GxE) and provides a contextual framework for understanding how genetic factors combine with (or are shaped by) environmental factors to influence the development of drinking behaviors and alcohol use disorders. Collectively, evidence from twin, adoption, and molecular genetic studies indicates that the degree of importance of genetic influences on risk for drinking outcomes can vary in different populations and under different environmental circumstances. However, methodological limitations and lack of consistent replications in this literature make it difficult to draw firm conclusions regarding the nature and effect size of alcohol-related GxE. On the basis of this review, we describe several methodological challenges as they relate to current research on GxE in drinking behaviors and provide recommendations to aid future research.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.03.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291188800009

    View details for PubMedID 21530476

  • Accounting for the association between childhood maltreatment and alcohol-use disorders in males: a twin study PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE Young-Wolff, K. C., Kendler, K. S., Ericson, M. L., Prescott, C. A. 2011; 41 (1): 59-70


    An association between childhood maltreatment and subsequent alcohol abuse and/or dependence (AAD) has been found in multiple studies of females. Less is known about the association between childhood maltreatment and AAD among males, and the mechanisms that underlie this association in either gender. One explanation is that childhood maltreatment increases risk for AAD. An alternative explanation is that the same genetic or environmental factors that increase a child's risk for being maltreated also contribute to risk for AAD in adulthood.Lifetime diagnosis of AAD was assessed using structured clinical interviews in a sample of 3527 male participants aged 19-56 years from the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders. The sources of childhood maltreatment-AAD association were estimated using both a matched case-control analysis of twin pairs discordant for childhood maltreatment and bivariate twin modeling.Approximately 9% of participants reported childhood maltreatment, defined as serious neglect, molestation, or physical abuse occurring before the age of 15 years. Those who experienced childhood maltreatment were 1.74 times as likely to meet AAD criteria compared with males who did not experience childhood maltreatment. The childhood maltreatment-AAD association largely reflected environmental factors in common to members of twin pairs. Additional exploratory analyses provided evidence that AAD risk associated with childhood maltreatment was significantly attenuated after adjusting for measured family-level risk factors.Males who experienced childhood maltreatment had an increased risk for AAD. Our results suggest that the childhood maltreatment-AAD association is attributable to broader environmental adversity shared between twins.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S0033291710000425

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285478700008

    View details for PubMedID 20346194

  • Empirically defined subtypes of alcohol dependence in an Irish family sample DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE Sintov, N. D., Kendler, K. S., Young-Wolff, K. C., Walsh, D., Patterson, D. G., Prescott, C. A. 2010; 107 (2-3): 230-236


    Alcohol dependence (AD) is clinically and etiologically heterogeneous. The goal of this study was to explore AD subtypes among a sample of 1221 participants in the Irish Affected Sib Pair Study of Alcohol Dependence, all of whom met DSM-IV criteria for AD. Variables used to identify the subtypes included major depressive disorder, antisocial personality disorder, illicit drug dependence (cannabis, sedatives, stimulants, cocaine, opioids, and hallucinogens), nicotine dependence, the personality traits of neuroticism and novelty seeking, and early alcohol use. Using latent class analysis, a 3-class solution was identified as the most parsimonious description of the data. Individuals in a Mild class were least likely to have comorbid psychopathology, whereas a severe class had highest probabilities of all comorbid psychopathology. The third class was characterized by high probabilities of major depression and higher neuroticism scores, but lower likelihood of other comorbid disorders than seen in the severe class. Overall, sibling pair resemblance for class was stronger within than between classes, and was greatest for siblings within the severe class, suggesting a stronger familial etiology for this class. These findings are consistent with the affective regulation and behavioral disinhibition subtypes of alcoholism, and are in line with prior work suggesting familial influences on subtype etiology.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.11.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000275732700016

    View details for PubMedID 20022183

  • Mood-Related Drinking Motives Mediate the Familial Association Between Major Depression and Alcohol Dependence ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH Young-Wolff, K. C., Kendler, K. S., Sintov, N. D., Prescott, C. A. 2009; 33 (8): 1476-1486


    Major depression and alcohol dependence co-occur within individuals and families to a higher than expected degree. This study investigated whether mood-related drinking motives mediate the association between major depression and alcohol dependence, and what the genetic and environmental bases are for this relationship.The sample included 5,181 individuals from the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders, aged 30 and older. Participants completed a clinical interview which assessed lifetime major depression, alcohol dependence, and mood-related drinking motives.Mood-related drinking motives significantly explained the depression-alcohol dependence relationship at both the phenotypic and familial levels. Results from twin analyses indicated that for both males and females, the familial factors underlying mood-related drinking motives accounted for virtually all of the familial variance that overlaps between depression and alcohol dependence.The results are consistent with an indirect role for mood-related drinking motives in the etiology of depression and alcohol dependence, and suggest that mood-related drinking motives may be a useful index of vulnerability for these conditions.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.00978.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268213800020

    View details for PubMedID 19426164

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