Parental Alcoholism and Child Environmental Risk
Study Code:PC
Start Date:Mar.2006
Contact:Richard Parker
More Info:QIMR only

The Parental Alcoholism and Child Environmental Risk (PACER) study is a collaborative effort between Prof. Nick Martin of QIMR, Brisbane and Prof. Andrew Heath of the Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. This is a longitudinal study that broadly aims to examine the effect of environment (specifically parental influence) on childhood outcomes while controlling for genetic effects.

Background :

Research looking at the influence of parental alcoholism on risk of childhood disorders (eg. ADHD, Conduct Disorder and Depression) which in turn predicts increased offspring risk of alcohol use disorders and high-risk behaviours is hindered by (i) the confounding of genetic effects and genotype x shared environment interaction effects in twin-design studies, and (ii) the selection for high risk backgrounds but reduced environmental risk exposures in adoption study designs. This study proposes to overcome these issues through the employment of a children-of-twins approach.

Assessments :

Interviews will be conducted with twins (adult male/male and male/female twins) and their children (aged between 11 and 23 years).  Data will be collected at baseline, at 2 years and at 4 years using a semi-structured, standardised interview similar to that used in the MATCH study.  Twin parents and children aged 15 years and over will also be asked to fill in a self-report questionnaire.