This study investigated the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene’s moderation of associations between exposure to a substance misuse intervention, average peer substance use, and adolescents’ own alcohol use during the 9th-grade. OXTR genetic risk was measured using five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and peer substance use was based on youths’ nominated closest friends’ own reports of alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use, based on data from the PROSPER project. Regression models revealed several findings. First, low OXTR risk was linked to affiliating with friends who reported less substance use in the intervention condition but not the control condition. Second, affiliating with high substance-using friends predicted youth alcohol risk regardless of OXTR risk or intervention condition. Third, although high OXTR risk youth in the intervention condition who associated with low substance-using friends reported somewhat higher alcohol use than comparable youth in the control group, the absolute level of alcohol use among these youth was still among the lowest in the sample.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health