From alcohol initiation to tolerance to problems: Discordant twin modeling of a developmental process

Arielle R. Deutsch, Wendy S. Slutske, Michael T. Lynskey, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Pamela A.F. Madden, Andrew C. Heath, Nicholas G. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examined a stage-based alcohol use trajectory model to test for potential causal effects of earlier drinking milestones on later drinking milestones in a combined sample of two cohorts of Australian monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twins (N = 7,398, age M = 30.46, SD = 2.61, 61% male, 56% monozygotic twins). Ages of drinking, drunkenness, regular drinking, tolerance, first nontolerance alcohol use disorder symptom, and alcohol use disorder symptom onsets were assessed retrospectively. Ages of milestone attainment (i.e., age-of-onset) and time between milestones (i.e., time-to-event) were examined via frailty models within a multilevel discordant twin design. For age-of-onset models, earlier ages of onset of antecedent drinking milestones increased hazards for earlier ages of onset for more proximal subsequent drinking milestones. For the time-to-event models, however, earlier ages of onset for the starting milestone decreased risk for a shorter time period between the starting and the ending milestone. Earlier age of onset of intermediate milestones between starting and ending drinking milestones had the opposite effect, increasing risk for a shorter time period between the starting and ending milestones. These results are consistent with a causal effect of an earlier age of drinking milestone onset on temporally proximal subsequent drinking milestones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-861
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

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