Early age drinking by girls: relative importance of ethnicity, genes and environment

New research examined the relative contribution of different factors to the age of first drink (AFD) in young women from European American and African American descent. Over 3,500 twins were studied from age 18 to 29 years. Age of first drink is significant for later drinking behaviour and African Americans (AA) were generally found to begin later than European Americans (EA). The role of ethnicity has been much less well researched than other factors. This study concluded that environmental factors such as parenting and school influences play a larger role in the development of alcohol-related problems in EA than AA young women, and genes contribute to problem drinking to a greater extent in AA than EA women.