Substance Abuse in Parents and Subsequent Risk of Offspring Psychiatric Morbidity in Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood: A Longitudinal Analysis of Siblings and Their Parents

Pekka Martikainen , University of Helsinki
Kaarina Korhonen
Heta Moustgaard, University of Helsinki
Mikko Aaltonen, National Research Institute of Legal Policy
Hanna Remes, University of Helsinki

We estimate the contribution of parental substance abuse on offspring psychiatric morbidity in late adolescence and early adulthood, with emphasis on the timing and persistency of exposure. We used a nationally representative 20% sample of Finnish families with children born in 1986-1996 (n=136,604) followed up in 1986–2011. We identified parental substance abuse and offspring psychiatric morbidity from hospital discharge records, death records and medication registers. Parental substance abuse at ages 0-14 was associated with about 2-fold increase in offspring psychiatric morbidity. Adjustment for childhood parental education, income, social class and family type reduced these effects by about 50%, with some further attenuation after adjustment for time-varying offspring characteristics. In fixed effects models those exposed at 0-4 or 5-9 years had 20-30% excess morbidity. Furthermore, early exposure at ages 0-4 combined with repeated exposure in later childhood had about 80-90% higher psychiatric morbidity as compared to never exposed siblings.

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 Presented in Session 248. Determinants of Adolescent Health