The dopamine D2 receptor gene, perceived parental support, and adolescent loneliness: Longitudinal evidence for gene-environment interactions
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 52, 10, (2011), pp. 1044-1051
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Background: Loneliness is a common problem in adolescence. Earlier research focused on genes within the serotonin and oxytocin systems, but no studies have examined the role of dopamine-related genes in loneliness. In the present study, we focused on the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2). Methods: Associations among the DRD2, sex, parental support, and loneliness were examined in a longitudinal study spanning five annual waves (N = 307). Results: Using Latent Growth Curve Modeling, DRD2 genotype was not directly related to loneliness. Interactions were found between parental support and DRD2 genotype, showing that adolescents with the A2A2 genotype who perceived little support from their parents had the highest baseline levels of loneliness. Adolescents with an A1 allele were not susceptible to the rewarding effect of parental support. Conclusions: The present study is the first to examine the role of the DRD2 genotype in loneliness. Our results contribute to a further understanding of the environmental and genetic basis of loneliness in adolescence.
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