Deviant socialization mediates transmissible and contextual risk on cannabis use disorder development: A prospective study

Ralph E. Tarter, Diana Fishbein, Levent Kirisci, Ada Mezzich, Ty Ridenour, Michael Vanyukov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Aims This study examined the contribution of transmissible risk, in conjunction with family and peer contextual factors during childhood and adolescence, on the development of cannabis use disorder in adulthood. Design The family high-risk design was used to recruit proband fathers with and without substance use disorder and track their sons longitudinally from late childhood to adulthood. Setting The families were recruited under the aegis of the Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Participants The oldest son in the family was studied at ages 10-12, 16, 19 and 22 years. Measurements The transmissible liability index (TLI), along with measures of quality of the parent-child relationship, cooperative behavior at home, social attitudes and peer milieu were administered to model the developmental pathway to cannabis use disorder. Findings Affiliation with socially deviant peers and harboring non-normative attitudes (age 16) mediate the association between transmissible risk for substance use disorder (SUD) (age 10-12) and use of illegal drugs (age 19), leading to cannabis use disorder (age 22). Conclusions Deviant socialization resulting from transmissible risk and poor parent-child relationship is integral to development of cannabis use disorder in young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1301-1308
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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