Aims: This study examined the contribution of transmissible risk, in conjunction with family and peer contextual factors during childhood and adolescence, on the development of cannabis use disorder in adulthood.
Design: The family high-risk design was used to recruit proband fathers with and without substance use disorder and track their sons longitudinally from late childhood to adulthood.
Setting: The families were recruited under the aegis of the Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Participants: The oldest son in the family was studied at ages 10-12, 16, 19 and 22 years.
Measurements: The transmissible liability index (TLI), along with measures of quality of the parent-child relationship, cooperative behavior at home, social attitudes and peer milieu were administered to model the developmental pathway to cannabis use disorder.
Findings: Affiliation with socially deviant peers and harboring non-normative attitudes (age 16) mediate the association between transmissible risk for substance use disorder (SUD) (age 10-12) and use of illegal drugs (age 19), leading to cannabis use disorder (age 22).
Conclusions: Deviant socialization resulting from transmissible risk and poor parent-child relationship is integral to development of cannabis use disorder in young adulthood.
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.