Genetic Influences on Addiction

Genetic Influences on Addiction

An Intermediate Phenotype Approach

Edited by James MacKillop and Marcus R. Munafò

A comprehensive review of research examining intermediary mechanisms to understand the link between genetic variation and addiction liability.





A comprehensive review of research examining intermediary mechanisms to understand the link between genetic variation and addiction liability.

Although there is scientific consensus that genetic factors play a substantial role in an individual's vulnerability to drug or alcohol addiction, specific genetic variables linked to risk or resilience remain elusive. Understanding how genetic factors contribute to addiction may require focusing on intermediary mechanisms, or intermediate phenotypes, that connect genetic variation and risk for addiction. This book offers a comprehensive review of this mechanistic-centered approach and the most promising intermediate phenotypes identified in empirical research.

The contributors first consider the most established findings in the field, including variability in drug metabolism, brain electrophysiological profiles, and subjective reactions to direct drug effects; they go on to review highly promising areas such as expectancies, attentional processing, and behavioral economic variables; and finally, they investigate more exploratory approaches, including the differential susceptibility hypothesis and epigenetic modifications. Taken together, the chapters offer a macro-level testing of the hypothesis that these alternative, mechanistic phenotypes can advance the understanding of genetic influences on addiction. The book will be of interest to researchers and practitioners in a range of disciplines, including behavioral genetics, psychology, pharmacology, neuroscience, and sociology.

ContributorsJohn Acker, Steven R.H. Beach, Gene H. Brody, Angela D. Bryan, Megan J. Chenoweth, Danielle M. Dick, Eske D. Derks, Mary-Anne Enoch, Meg Gerrard, Frederick X. Gibbons, Thomas E. Gladwin, Mark S. Goldman, Marcus Heilig, Kent E. Hutchison, Hollis C. Karoly, Steven M. Kogan, Man Kit Lei, Susan Luczak, James MacKillop, Renee E. Magnan, Leah M. Mayo, Marcus R. Munafò, Daria Orlowska, Abraham A. Palmer, Danielle Pandika, Clarissa C. Parker, Robert A. Philibert, Lara A. Ray, Richard R. Reich, Ronald L. Simons, Courtney J. Stevens, Rachel E. Thayer, Rachel F. Tyndale, Tamara L. Wall, Reinout W. Wiers, Michael Windle, Harriet de Wit


$50.00 X ISBN: 9780262019699 400 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 32 figures


James MacKillop

James MacKillop is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia, where he is also Associate Director of the William and Barbara Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University.

Marcus R. Munafò

Marcus R. Munafò is Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol, UK.


  • Genetic Influences on Addiction directly tackles the fundamental question of how genes scale-up to produce the patchwork of biological and psychological vulnerabilities that underpin addiction. The book's objective is crucial because stitching together this multiplicity of processes is essential for much needed advances in treatment efficacy.

    Lee Hogarth

    Associate Professor, School of Psychology, University of Exeter