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Environmental Contingencies and Genetic Propensities: Social Capital, Educational Continuation, and Dopamine Receptor Gene

Citation

Shanahan, Michael J.; Vaisey, Stephen; Erickson, Lance D.; & Smolen, Andrew (2008). Environmental Contingencies and Genetic Propensities: Social Capital, Educational Continuation, and Dopamine Receptor Gene. American Journal of Sociology, 114(S1), S260-286.

Abstract

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.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/592204

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2008

Journal Title

American Journal of Sociology

Author(s)

Shanahan, Michael J.
Vaisey, Stephen
Erickson, Lance D.
Smolen, Andrew