THE EFFECT OF PARENTAL INFLUENCE AND THE DOPAMINE TRANSPORTER (DAT1) GENE ON EARLY ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR IN CHILDREN: DETERMINING RISK FOR DELINQUENCY USING A GxE
Gonzales, Trevor A
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This study examined the effect of negative maternal behaviors and the child’s dopamine transporter polymorphism on early signs of delinquency in children. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Survey, conducted by Princeton University, the child’s DAT1 polymorphism will be examined and tested as part of a gene environment interaction (GxE) to determine a possible relationship between environments with exposure to negative maternal behaviors, and different DAT1 polymorphisms in the child, to predict early signs of delinquency. Four different maternal behaviors were examined; alcohol use, drug use, punishment of the child, and lack of maternal attachment. Each of these behaviors was examined along with the DAT1 gene of the child using two models for each variable. The first examined the behavior and gene independently, the second included a variable for a GxE between them. The GxEs between the maternal behaviors and the DAT1 genes did not have a significant impact on delinquency in any of the tests. Maternal drug use, punishment of the child, and child’s lack of attachment to mother were all significantly related to increased delinquency.