Interactions between serotonin transporter gene haplotypes and quality of mothers' parenting predict the development of children's noncompliance

Michael J. Sulik, Nancy Eisenberg, Kathryn Lemery, Tracy Spinrad, Kassondra M. Silva, Natalie Wilkens, Jennifer A. Betkowski, Anne Kupfer, Cynthia L. Smith, Bridget Gaertner, Daryn A. Stover, Brian C. Verrelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The LPR and STin2 polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) were combined into haplotypes that, together with quality of maternal parenting, were used to predict initial levels and linear change in children's (N = 138) noncompliance and aggression from age 18-54 months. Quality of mothers' parenting behavior was observed when children were 18 months old, and nonparental caregivers' reports of noncompliance and aggression were collected annually from 18 to 54 months of age. Quality of early parenting was negatively related to the slope of noncompliance only for children with the LPR-S/STin2-10 haplotype and to 18-month noncompliance only for children with haplotypes that did not include LPR-S. The findings support the notion that SLC6A4 haplotypes index differential susceptibility to variability in parenting quality, with certain haplotypes showing greater reactivity to both supportive and unsupportive environments. These different genetic backgrounds likely reflect an evolutionary response to variation in the parenting environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-754
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Differential susceptibility
  • Noncompliance
  • SLC6A4 (5-HTT)
  • Serotonin transporter gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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