August 12, 2009

The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights new study on social capital, college attendance and the DRD2 gene by Add Health investigator Mike Shanahan

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill researcher Mike Shanahan’s study on social capital, educational continuation, and dopamine receptor gene DRD2 appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The study uses data from Add Health.

“Young men are less likely to attend college if they carry a common form of a gene associated with poor impulse control, a new study has found. But the study also found that a strong environment–a high-quality high school and heavily involved parents–can counteract that genetic risk. For boys with this gene who grow up in supportive environments, there was no drop in college attendance.

“The study, which was written by three sociologists and a behavioral geneticist, examined genes and survey data from more than 2,500 people who have participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The paper was published in December as part of the American Journal of Sociology’s 2008 supplement.” (January 9, 2009. A gene pushes some men away from college, but social support pulls them in. In The Chronicle of Higher Education.)

To read the entire article, click here.

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This article is based on research published as the following:

Shanahan, Michael J., Stephen Vaisey, Lance D. Erickson, and Andrew Smolen. 2008. Environmental Contingencies and Genetic Propensities: Social Capital, Educational Continuation, and Dopamine Receptor Gene DRD2. American Journal of Sociology 114, no. S1 (2008): S260-86.