The genetic precursors and the advantageous and disadvantageous sequelae of inhibited temperament: An evolutionary perspective

Patrick T. Davies, Dante Cicchetti, Rochelle F. Hentges, Melissa L. Sturge-Apple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Guided by evolutionary game theory (Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005), this study aimed to identify the genetic precursors and the psychosocial sequelae of inhibited temperament in a sociodemographically disadvantaged and racially diverse sample (N = 201) of 2-year-old children who experienced elevated levels of domestic violence. Using a multimethod, prospective design across 3 annual measurement occasions, the authors conducted structural equation modeling analyses indicating that trained observer ratings of inhibited temperament at age 2 were uniquely predicted by polymorphisms in dopamine and serotonin transporter genes. Children's inhibited temperament, in turn, indirectly predicted decreases in their externalizing problems at age 4 through its association with greater behavioral flexibility at age 3. Results highlight the value of integrating evolutionary and developmental conceptualizations in more comprehensively charting the developmental cascades of inhibited temperament.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2285-2300
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume49
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 5-HTTLPR, DAT1
  • Child adjustment
  • Evolution
  • Temperament

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