Title

Environmental Contingencies and Genetic Propensities: Social Capital, Educational Continuation, and Dopamine Receptor Gene DRD21

Keywords

environmental sociology, genetic propensities, social capital

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.

Original Publication Citation

Shanahan, Michael J., Steve Vaisey, Lance D. Erickson & Andrew Smolen. (2008). Environmental Contingencies and Genetic Propensities: Social Capital, Educational Continuation, and Dopamine Receptor Gene DRD2. American Journal of Sociology, 114(S1):S260-S286.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2008

Publisher

American Journal of Sociology

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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