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We use data from two samples: In CDP, repeated measures of life events, mother-reported adolescent externalizing, and teacher-reported adolescent externalizing were used. In FinnTwin12, life events and externalizing were assessed at age Parental externalizing was indexed by measures of antisocial behavior and alcohol problems or alcohol dependence symptoms in both samples.
The association between life events and subsequent adolescent externalizing was stronger for adolescents with 0 copies of the G minor allele MA compared to those with 1 or 2 copies of the MA. The discussion focuses on how the strength of intergenerational pathways for externalizing psychopathology may differ as a function of adolescent-level individual differences.
Externalizing behavior, which encompasses a broad class of behaviors related to conduct and substance use behaviors e. We focus here on life events as an intervening process that may link parent and adolescent externalizing behavior Chassin et al. Studies document associations between parental externalizing behavior and negative life events and stressors. Furthermore, it is well established that negative life events are, in turn, associated with greater adolescent externalizing-spectrum behavior Blomeyer et al.
Retrospective work with a college age sample similarly indicated that childhood stressors mediated the link between paternal alcohol dependence and young adult alcohol use disorders Sher et al. Although others have reported null results for this indirect pathway e. Not all adolescents whose parents suffer from an externalizing problem or who experience a large number of life events go on to exhibit externalizing behavior themselves Thornberry et al.
Continuity and discontinuity in this intergenerational pathway may reflect, in part, an interaction between life events and individual differences, such as genetic predispositions. To date, studies examining interactions between life events, measured genetic predispositions, and externalizing behavior in adolescence have focused narrowly on genes implicated in the stress response e.