Mediators and Moderators of Alcoholism Inheritance

  • Matt McGue
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


One of the most consistent observations in the alcohol research field is that alcoholism recurs in families. Indeed, among behavioral disorders, alcoholism is remarkable for the strength of its familial loading. In her classic review of family studies of alcoholism, Cotton (1979) reported that alcoholics were approximately 6 times more likely than nonalcoholics to come from families with other alcoholic members. Although the extent to which the familial aggregation of alcoholism is influenced by genetic or environmental factors has long been a source of controversy in the alcohol research field (for reviews, see Murray, Clifford, & Gurling, 1983; Peele, 1986; Searles, 1988), and quantitative estimates are still imprecise and variable (Heath, Slutske, & Madden, 1994), empirical evidence now convincingly converges on the conclusion that genetic factors exert some influence on alcoholism etiology (McGue, 1994).


Genetic Influence Blood Alcohol Concentration Adoption Study Alcohol Sensitivity Male Alcoholic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt McGue
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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