B3824 - Multivariate Genetic Study of Impulsivity and Binge Drinking through Late adolescence and Early Adulthood - 05/07/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Wendy Slutske | University of Missouri (United States)
Alex Miller, Ian Gizer
Title of project: 
Multivariate Genetic Study of Impulsivity and Binge Drinking through Late adolescence and Early Adulthood
Proposal summary: 

Binge drinking behaviors in late adolescence and early adulthood have been shown to be important indicators of risk for developing problems with alcohol use and related consequences which may extend beyond early adulthood. Binge drinking behaviors are also thought to be influenced, in part, by impulsive personality traits such that more impulsive adolescents and emerging adults tend to binge drink more heavily, more frequently, and beyond early adulthood. However, the connection between impulsive personality and binge drinking has been clouded to some extent in past research because there is generally not a widely agreed upon “best” way to measure impulsive personality. Additionally, this measurement issue may obscure our ability to detect genetic influences on impulsive personality and binge drinking and their connection across the lifespan. The proposed study seeks to clarify the role that genetic factors might play in this relationship by using results from pre-existing genetic studies of impulsive personality and alcohol use to define genetic risk factors that reflect more succinct traits (e.g., the drive to behave impulsively in response to emotions and rewards, and the inability to stop or control these drives). These re-defined genetic risk factors will then be used to determine the extent to which genetic influences for impulsive personality predict changes in binge drinking across late adolescence and early adulthood in the ALSPAC sample.

Impact of research: 
Results from this study will expand current understanding of dual-systems genetic factors contributing to changes in alcohol use and impulsive personality traits across a critical developmental period, and more broadly, the genetic etiology of alcohol use disorder development. While there is emerging evidence that problematic alcohol use and impulsive personality traits are dynamically related, such that changes in these constructs appear to correlate during important developmental periods and changes in impulsivity and sensation seeking across late adolescence and emerging adulthood are positively associated with individual differences in heavy drinking (Littlefield et al., 2014; Quinn & Harden, 2013), the extent to which overlapping genetic influences for these traits contributes to the correlated longitudinal trajectories of said traits has yet to be examined to the extent proposed by this study. Finally, findings will also represent novel applications of state-of-the-art post-GWAS modeling of genetic data and an assessment of the benefits of these models in informing genetic prediction models of the etiology of problematic alcohol use and alcohol use disorders.
Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 26 June, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 5 July, 2021
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Mental health, GWAS, Statistical methods, Development, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics, Genome wide association study, Psychology - personality, Statistical methods