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Prev Sci. 2018 Jan;19(1):90-100. doi: 10.1007/s11121-016-0709-5.

Prevention of Early Substance Use Mediates, and Variation at SLC6A4 Moderates, SAAF Intervention Effects on OXTR Methylation.

Author information

1
Center for Family Research, University of Georgia, 1095 College Station Road, Athens, GA, 30602, USA. srhbeach@uga.edu.
2
Center for Family Research, University of Georgia, 1095 College Station Road, Athens, GA, 30602, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Abstract

The Strong African American Family (SAAF) program has been shown to have a variety of short and long-term benefits for participating youth and families. However, biological mechanisms potentially influencing long-term effects on resilience in young adulthood have not been examined. In the current investigation, we examine the effects of SAAF on methylation of the OXTR gene in young adulthood, focusing on a regulatory region previously identified to be both responsive to stress and implicated in resilience. Using the subsample of participants from the original study for whom methylation data was available (N = 388), we replicated the previously reported G × E effect on prevention of early substance use and then examined whether there would also be a moderated effect on OXTR methylation in early adulthood, with "s" allele carriers, but not "LL" participants, showing a significant indirect effect of SAAF on OXTR methylation. Results suggest that for susceptible youth (i.e., "s" allele carriers), preventive intervention may "get under the skin," in a manner potentially beneficial for long-term outcomes. Implications for examination of OXTR methylation in future prevention research are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Family; OXTR; Prevention; SLC6A4; Substance use

PMID:
27655391
PMCID:
PMC5360555
DOI:
10.1007/s11121-016-0709-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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