Author(s): Schuckit MA, Schuckit MA
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This article reviews results from an ongoing prospective study of 453 sons of alcoholics and controls, and presents new data from the 15-year follow-up. METHOD: Drinking, but not alcohol dependent, 20-year-old sons of alcoholics and controls were evaluated for their level of response (LR) to alcohol and were subsequently followed, through personal interviews, 10 years and 15 years later. RESULTS: The 10-year follow-up of 450 (99.3\%) men and provisional analyses from the first 127 subjects at 15 years revealed that a low LR at about age 20 predicted subsequent alcoholism, even after considering the original quantity and frequency of drinking and six additional domains of influence. Regarding the latter, behavioral undercontrol and work stress appear to interact with LR, with alcohol expectancies, coping mechanisms and aspects of the drinking in the environment also appearing to add to the model, while other aspects of life stress and the social support network do not. CONCLUSIONS: The prospective evaluation of subjects at higher risk for alcoholism is a potentially powerful tool in identifying the relationships among a broad range of moderators and mediators of the alcoholism risk. The present tentative results based on the first 127 subjects are primarily heuristic as findings might change in the full sample. These data set the stage for completion of the 15-year follow-up and for a subsequent 20-year evaluation which will focus on the same domains in the projected almost 560 sons and daughters of the original sample.
This article was published in J Stud Alcohol
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry