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Genetic Moderation of Transactional Relations Between Parenting Practices and Child Self-Regulation

The present study addressed the ways in which parent and child dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) genotypes jointly moderate the transactional relations between parenting practices and child self-regulation. African American children ( = 309) and their parents provided longitudinal data spanning child ages 11 to 15 years and a saliva sample from which variation at DRD4 was genotyped. Based on the differential susceptibility perspective, this study examined moderation effects of DRD4 status on (a) the extent to which parenting practices affect child self-regulation and (b) the extent to which child self-regulation, as an environmental influence on the parent, affects parenting behavior. Results indicated that responsive-supportive parenting interacted with children’s DRD4 status to influence increases in child self-regulation. Also, child self-regulation interacted with parent’s DRD4 status to predict changes in parenting practices. Both Gene × Environment effects conformed to a differential susceptibility model in which parents’ and children’s DRD4 genes operated to increase environmental sensitivity “for better and for worse.”

 

Genetic Moderation of Transactional Relations Between Parenting Practices and Child Self-Regulation

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