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The dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) moderates family environmental effects on ADHD.

Authors
  • Martel, Michelle M
  • Nikolas, Molly
  • Jernigan, Katherine
  • Friderici, Karen
  • Waldman, Irwin
  • Nigg, Joel T
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2011
Volume
39
Issue
1
Pages
1–10
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10802-010-9439-5
PMID: 20644990
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a prime candidate for exploration of gene-by-environment interaction (i.e., G x E), particularly in relation to dopamine system genes, due to strong evidence that dopamine systems are dysregulated in the disorder. Using a G x E design, we examined whether the DRD4 promoter 120-bp tandem repeat polymorphism, previously associated with ADHD, moderated the effects of inconsistent parenting and marital conflict on ADHD or Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (ODD). Participants were 548 children with ADHD and non-ADHD comparison children and their parents. Homozygosity for the DRD4 promoter 120-bp tandem repeat insertion allele increased vulnerability for ADHD and ODD only in the presence of inconsistent parenting and appeared to increase susceptibility to the influence of increased child self-blame for marital conflict on ADHD inattention. DRD4 genotypes may interact with these proximal family environmental risk factors by increasing the individual's responsivity to environmental contingencies.

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