Objective: The present study updates prior research, incorporating state-level administrative data to examine associations between self-reported history of alcohol dependence and birth record– derived reproductive onset, the latter assessed through peak childbearing years. Method: Participants included 542 African ancestry (AA) and 2,928 European or other ancestry (EA) female twins ascertained through Missouri birth records and recruited as part of a birth cohort study of like-sex female pairs born between 1975 and 1985. Analyses were limited to twins for whom residence in Missouri when of reproductive age could be documented, including twins who left Missouri but later returned. Cox proportional hazards regression models were estimated predicting age at first childbirth from history of alcohol dependence, separately for AA and EA twins, without and with adjustment for so-ciodemographic characteristics, comorbid psychopathology and other substance involvement, overweight/obesity status, and family-of-origin and childhood risk factors. Results: Among EA twins, alcohol dependence predicted both early and delayed childbearing; in adjusted models, alcohol dependence was associated with overall delayed childbearing. Associations between alcohol dependence and reproductive onset were nonsignificant among AA twins. Conclusions: Findings for EA twins are consistent with the broader literature indicating increased risk of teen motherhood associated with early-onset and problem drinking, but suggest that this may be explained by other correlated risk factors. The more robust finding, confirming relatively recent research, is of delayed childbearing associated with alcohol dependence. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 81, 74–80, 2020).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


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