Deviant socialization mediates transmissible and contextual risk on cannabis use disorder development: a prospective study

Addiction. 2011 Jul;106(7):1301-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03401.x. Epub 2011 May 3.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child of Impaired Parents*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Fathers / psychology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Housekeeping
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Abuse / genetics*
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Peer Group
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Phenotype
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment
  • Socialization*
  • Young Adult