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Differential Susceptibility to Adolescent Externalizing Trajectories: Examining the Interplay Between CHRM2 and Peer Group Antisocial Behavior


  • The Child Development Project has been funded by Grants MH42498, MH56961, MH57024, MH057024-07S1 (supplemental funds to collect DNA), and MH57095 from the National Institute of Mental Health; HD30572 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and DA016903 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This manuscript was prepared with support by AA17013 (to S.J.L.), AA15416 and Independent Scientist Award AA018755 (to D.M.D.) from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. K.A.D. acknowledges the support of Senior Scientist Award DA015226 and Center Grant DA017589 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

concerning this article should be addressed to Shawn J. Latendresse and Danielle M. Dick, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980126, Richmond, VA 23298-0126. Electronic mail may be sent to and


The present study characterized prototypical patterns of development in self-reported externalizing behavior, between 12 and 22 years of age, within a community sample of 452 genotyped individuals. A Caucasian subset (n = 378) was then examined to determine whether their probabilities of displaying discrete trajectories were differentially associated with CHRM2, a gene implicated in self-regulatory processes across a range of externalizing behaviors, and if affiliating with antisocial peers moderated these associations. Findings indicate that relative to a normative “lower risk” externalizing trajectory, likelihood of membership in two “higher risk” trajectories increased with each additional copy of the minor allelic variant at CHRM2, and that this association was exacerbated among those exposed to higher levels of peer group antisocial behavior.