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Bullying victimization is common in adolescence and has been associated with a broad variety of psychopathology and alcohol use. The present study assessed time-varying associations between bullying victimization and alcohol use through internalizing and externalizing symptoms and whether this indirect association throughout time is moderated by personality. This 5-year longitudinal study (3,800 grade 7 adolescents) used Bayesian multilevel moderated mediation models: independent variable was bullying victimization; moderators were four personality dimensions (anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, impulsivity, and sensation seeking); internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depressive symptoms) and externalizing symptoms (conduct, hyperactivity problems) were the mediators; and alcohol use, the outcome. Results indicated significant between, within, and lagged effects on alcohol use through internalizing and externalizing symptoms. There were significant between and within effects on alcohol use through internalizing symptoms for adolescents with high anxiety sensitivity and hopelessness, and significant between, within, and lagged effects on alcohol use through externalizing symptoms for adolescents with high impulsivity and sensation seeking. These findings implicate two risk pathways that account for how bullying victimization enhances alcohol use risk and emphasize the importance of personality profiles that can shape the immediate and long-term consequences of victimization.
It has not yet been determined if the commonly reported cannabis–psychosis association is limited to individuals with pre-existing genetic risk for psychotic disorders.
We examined whether the relationship between polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS-Sz) and psychotic-like experiences (PLEs), as measured by the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences-42 (CAPE-42) questionnaire, is mediated or moderated by lifetime cannabis use at 16 years of age in 1740 of the individuals of the European IMAGEN cohort. Secondary analysis examined the relationships between lifetime cannabis use, PRS-Sz and the various sub-scales of the CAPE-42. Sensitivity analyses including covariates, including a PRS for cannabis use, were conducted and results were replicated using data from 1223 individuals in the Dutch Utrecht cannabis cohort.
PRS-Sz significantly predicted cannabis use (p = 0.027) and PLE (p = 0.004) in the IMAGEN cohort. In the full model, considering PRS-Sz and covariates, cannabis use was also significantly associated with PLE in IMAGEN (p = 0.007). Results remained consistent in the Utrecht cohort and through sensitivity analyses. Nevertheless, there was no evidence of a mediation or moderation effects.
These results suggest that cannabis use remains a risk factor for PLEs, over and above genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia. This research does not support the notion that the cannabis–psychosis link is limited to individuals who are genetically predisposed to psychosis and suggests a need for research focusing on cannabis-related processes in psychosis that cannot be explained by genetic vulnerability.
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