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The ADAPT parenting intervention benefits combat exposed fathers genetically susceptible to problem drinking

APA Citation:

DeGarmo, D. S., Gewirtz, A. H., Li, L., Tavalire, H. F., & Cicchetti, D. (2023). The ADAPT parenting intervention benefits combat exposed fathers genetically susceptible to problem drinking. Prevention Science, 24, 150-160. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-022-01424-x

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined whether participation in the After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) intervention buffered combat-exposed fathers at genetic risk for substance use against increases in problem drinking (e.g., excess consumption). 185 Service member fathers were assigned at random to either the ADAPT group (n = 111) or to a control group that received only tip sheets and online resources (n = 74). At baseline, researchers collected the fathers’ DNA samples for genetic testing; fathers also self-reported their combat exposure and problem drinking. 12 months later, they reported their problem drinking again. Participation in the ADAPT intervention appeared to protect fathers with high genetic risk and combat stress exposure against increases in problem drinking.


Substance use

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member


Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Quantitative Study


DeGarmo, David S., Gewirtz, Abigail H., Li, Lijun, Tavalire, Hannah F., Cicchetti, Dante


Testing a vantage sensitivity model from differential susceptibility theory (DST), we examined a G × E × I hypothesis; that is, whether a military parenting intervention program (I) might buffer a G × E susceptibility for military deployed fathers exposed to deployment combat stress and trauma. We hypothesized that combat stress (E, referring to the natural environmental factor) would lead to increases in problem drinking, and that the effect of problem drinking would be amplified by genetic predisposition (G) for drinking reward systems, substance use, and addictive behaviors (i.e., differential vulnerability). Providing a preventive intervention designed to improve post-deployment family environments (I, vantage sensitivity) is hypothesized to buffer the negative impacts of combat exposure and genetic susceptibility. The sample included 185 post-deployed military fathers who consented to genotyping, from a larger sample of 294 fathers enrolled in a randomized effectiveness trial of the After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) intervention. Trauma-exposed military fathers at genetic susceptibility for problem drinking assigned to the ADAPT intervention reported significantly more reductions in risky drinking compared with fathers at genetic susceptibility assigned to the control group, with a small effect size for the G × E × I interaction (d = .2).

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:


Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Prevention Science Institute, University of Oregon, DSD
Prevention Science Institute, University of Oregon, HFT
Department of Psychology, REACH Institute, Arizona State University, AHG
Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, LL
Institute of Child Development, University of MinnesotaTwin Cities, DC


parenting intervention, problem drinking, combat exposure, fathers

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary


The research leading to these results received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (Grant number DA030114) granted to Abigail Gewirtz, Principal Investigator, and in part by P50 DA048756.

REACH Newsletter:

  February 2023

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