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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating Neighborhood, Social, and Genetic Influences on Precursors of Alcohol Use Risk Behavior in African American Adolescents

1
School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-9106, USA
2
Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-9106, USA
3
Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA 94608-1010, USA
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School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106, USA
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Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611-3234, USA
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Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-9106, USA
7
Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-9106, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3078; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173078
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 20 August 2019 / Published: 24 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neighborhood Environmental Influences on Health and Well-Being)
Background: Using a socioecological framework, we examined neighborhood and social stressors in concert with genetic risk for alcohol dependence in relation to externalizing behaviors, important precursors to alcohol-related problems. Methods: We used data from African American adolescents and their caregivers in the Gene, Environment, and Neighborhood Initiative, a subsample of the Mobile Youth and Poverty Study. Participants for the current analyses included 112 adolescents who reported ever having at least one full drink of alcohol. Empirical Bayes scores were used to estimate neighborhood-level violence and transitions. Multivariate models tested main effects and then interactions of family stressors, discrimination, and genetic risk with the neighborhood variables. Results: In the main effects model, adolescent externalizing behaviors were positively associated with greater family stressors, more racial discrimination experiences, and genetic liability, while neighborhood variables were nonsignificant. We found three significant interactions. Specifically, the joint effects of neighborhood violence and transitions and between these neighborhood variables and family stressors were significantly associated with externalizing behaviors. Conclusions: Our findings suggest genetic liability and complex interactions between neighborhood context and social stressors are important contributors that should be considered in the development of early prevention programs for adolescents who live in economically disadvantaged areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; externalizing behaviors; family stressors; racial discrimination; neighborhood; genetic risk adolescents; externalizing behaviors; family stressors; racial discrimination; neighborhood; genetic risk
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Compton, K.S.; Barr, P.; Karriker-Jaffe, K.J.; Bares, C.; Aliev, F.; Mustanski, B.; Dick, D.; Chartier, K.G. Evaluating Neighborhood, Social, and Genetic Influences on Precursors of Alcohol Use Risk Behavior in African American Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3078.

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