Environmental contingencies and genetic propensities: social capital, educational continuation, and dopamine receptor gene DRD2.


Book Review

Studies of gene-environment interplay typically focus on one environmental factor at a time, resulting in a constrained view of social context. The concept of environmental contingency is introduced as a corrective. Drawing on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and qualitative comparative analysis, the authors focus on an example involving social capital, a gene associated with a dopamine receptor (DRD2), and educational continuation beyond secondary school. For boys, (1) DRD2 risk is associated with a decreased likelihood of school continuation; (2) one configuration of social capital -- high parental socioeconomic status, high parental involvement in school, and a high-quality school -- compensates for this negative relationship, consistent with environmental contingency; but (3) boys with DRD2 risk are less commonly observed in settings that are rich in social capital.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shanahan, MJ; Vaisey, S; Erickson, LD; Smolen, A

Published Date

  • January 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 114 Suppl /

Start / End Page

  • S260 - S286

PubMed ID

  • 19569407

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19569407

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-5390

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9602

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/592204


  • eng