Navigation Links
Sociological research shows combined impact of genetics, social factors on delinquency
Date:7/14/2008

CHAPEL HILL, NC In one of the first studies to link molecular genetic variants to adolescent delinquency, sociological research published in the August issue of the American Sociological Review identifies three genetic predictorsof serious and violent delinquencythat gain predictive precision when considered together with social influences, such as family, friends and school processes.

Sociologists from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill explored the interaction of genetics and social influences and identified three genetic polymorphisms thatwhen examined in the context of modulating social controlsare significant predictors of delinquency. These findings about geneenvironment interactions suggest that certain genotypes and specific social control influences (e.g., family characteristics and processes; popularity and friendship characteristics; and school attendance factors) are mutually dependent on delinquency.

While many behavioral studies of geneenvironment interactions typically examine the relationship of a single factor (e.g., child abuse, stress) to genes, the present research is unique in that it systematically examines layers of social context simultaneously (i.e., family dynamics, peer relations, and school-related variables). The study uses regression analysis to reveal non-intuitive and complex relations among the researched variables.

"While genetics appear to influence delinquency, social influences such as family, friends and school seem to impact the expression of certain genetic variants," said Guang Guo, the study's lead author and a professor of sociology and faculty fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Carolina Population Center and Carolina Center for Genomic Sciences. "Positive social influences appear to reduce the delinquency-increasing effect of a genetic variant, whereas the effect of these genetic variants is amplified in the absence of social controls."

"Our research confirms that genetic effects are not deterministic," Guo said. "Gene expression may depend heavily on the environment."

The three genetic polymorphisms that predict delinquency include: (1) the 30-base pair (bp) promoter-region with a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene, (2) the 40-bp VNTR in the dopamine transporter 1 (DAT1) gene and (3) the Taq1 polymorphism in the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene. MAOA regulates several brain neurotransmitters important in behavioral motivation, aggression, emotion and cognition (e.g., serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine).

Among the findings, the research suggests a conditional interaction between repeating a school grade and the MAOA*2 repeat (2R) allele in adolescent boys. For those who did not have the 2R allele, repeating a grade was significantly correlated with serious delinquency, but for those who had this 2R allele and who repeated a grade, the propensity for serious delinquency increased dramatically.

The study also indicates a link between the DRD2 gene and having daily family meals. Daily meals with one or two parents are a powerful moderator for the effect of the DRD2 gene.

"Most delinquent and violent behaviors are considered complex," Guo said. "Understanding these behaviors requires understanding both their socioeconomic-cultural components and their genetic components."

The correlation of social and genetic effects on delinquency suggests the need for the social sciences to incorporate genetic evidence in this area of study, according to Guo. The implications of these findings also raise important questions for public policy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jackie Cooper
jcooper@asanet.org
202-247-9871
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Louisiana Tech researchers feature drug reformulation in prestigious journal
2. UCLA researchers locate and image prostate cancer as it spreads to lymph nodes
3. UCSB researcher leads worldwide study on marine fossil diversity
4. National Institutes of Health award Williams professor $217,710 research grant
5. Charcot-marie-tooth disease research funding
6. Glenn Foundation for Medical Research commits $5 million to study aging
7. Researchers catch ion channels in their opening act
8. UGA researchers discover mechanism that explains how cancer enzyme winds up on ends of chromosomes
9. Researchers hack final part of the immune system code
10. Revolutionary chefs? Not likely, shows physics research
11. Scripps research scientists reveal key structure from ebola virus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a ... report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on ... covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... YORK , April 5, 2017 Today ... is announcing that the server component of the HYPR ... known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million ... makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites and ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... HONG KONG , March 30, 2017 ... developed a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground ... technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use ... applications at an affordable cost. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... ... Diversity focused business accelerator, The Refinery , announced today they are hosting ... technology-driven, women-led startups in Boston, MA, New Haven/Hamden, CT, and Newark, NJ. Fueling ... that week – in Boston, it will be part of the City of Boston's ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... examining the effects of exoskeleton-assisted walking on gait parameters and neuromuscular activity ... "Neuromechanical adaptations during a robotic powered exoskeleton assisted walking session" (doi:10.1080.10790268.2017.1314900) was ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... Aurora, Ohio (PRWEB) , ... September 20, 2017 ... ... automation, systems integration, and building management solutions, announced today the opening of an ... customers in Taiwan and the Greater China region, while developing new relationships in ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... group of funded early-stage tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and her team ... the ic@3401 community is Cooley, an international law firm with decades of experience ...
Breaking Biology Technology: