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J Affect Disord. 2009 Jan;112(1-3):120-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.03.027. Epub 2008 May 27.

The interaction of DRD2 and violent victimization on depression: an analysis by gender and race.

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Division of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0389, United States.



Recent research has shown that a polymorphism in the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) moderates the association between stressful life events and depression. The present study builds off this literature and examines whether DRD2 moderates the effect of violent victimization on depression. Furthermore, the current analyses investigate whether the effects of DRD2 and violent victimization vary by gender and by race for females.


Respondents from waves II and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) completed questionnaires regarding their depressive symptoms and violent victimization experiences (n = 2380).


Multivariate regression results reveal that violent victimization has a strong independent effect on depressive symptoms for Caucasian females. In contrast, violent victimization is only associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms among African American females when they carry at least one A1 allele of DRD2. Results also show that DRD2 has a significant independent effect on depressive symptoms for males and African American females.


The results suggest that African American females who carry the A1 allele of DRD2 may be more vulnerable to the negative effects of violent victimization than African American females who do not carry at least one copy of the A1 allele.


The current study's findings may not generalize to clinical populations, adults, and individuals residing in other countries. In addition, the effects of DRD2 may reflect other polymorphisms that are in linkage with DRD2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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