Transmissible liability index (TLI), developed employing a high-risk design and item response theory, enables quantification of the latent trait of liability to drug use disorders (DUD) in children. TLI has been shown to have high heritability and predict DUD in young adulthood. This study extends prior research and determines the genetic contribution of DUD liability measured by TLI to adult liability as indexed by DUD diagnosis. The study utilizes data from a twin sample tracked from age 11 to age 25. In addition to confirming TLI’s high heritability and predictive validity, it shows that the genetic component of variance in TLI assessed in childhood accounts for over half of the genetic variance in DUD diagnosis and the entire phenotypic relationship between the two liability measures. This validates TLI as an early measure of DUD liability and supports its utility in early-age genetic and other mechanistic studies of DUD.
- Substance abuse