Research & Resources

The Role of Adolescent Social Relationships in Promoting Alcohol Resistance: Interrupting the Intergenerational Transmission of Alcohol Misuse

In this study, researchers used data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism to examine adolescent relationships with parents, peers, and romantic partners as predictors of realized resistance (i.e., high biological risk for disorder combined with a healthy outcome) to alcohol initiation, heavy episodic drinking, and alcohol use disorder (AUD). Adolescent predictors included parent–child relationship quality, parental monitoring, peer drinking, romantic partner drinking, and social competence. The findings gave little support to the hypothesis that social relationship factors would promote alcohol resistance, with the exception that higher father–child relationship quality was associated with higher resistance to alcohol initiation. Researchers emphasized that the pattern of null effects underscores how little is known about resistance processes among those at high genetic risk for AUD.

This paper, “The role of adolescent social relationships in promoting alcohol resistance: Interrupting the intergenerational transmission of alcohol misuse,” was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

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