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Acta Neuropsychiatr. 2019 Jun;31(3):159-166. doi: 10.1017/neu.2019.2.

Efficacy of intervention at traffic schools reducing impulsive action, and association with candidate gene variants.

Author information

1
1Department of Education,University of Tartu,Tartu,Estonia.
2
3Department of Psychology,Division of Neuropsychopharmacology,University of Tartu,Tartu,Estonia.
3
4Department of Family Medicine and Public Health,University of Tartu,Tartu,Estonia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people. Recognition of the contribution of impulsive behaviour may help novice drivers to behave more safely. Previously a brief intervention focusing on impulsive traffic behaviour conducted by psychologists in driving schools had been effective. The aim of this study was an independent re-evaluation of the effect of the intervention, as conducted by driving school teachers, and assessment of the potential associations with candidate genotypes.

METHODS:

Driving school students (mean age 22.5, SD=7.9) were divided into intervention (n=704) and control (n=737) groups. Driving school teachers were trained to administer the intervention which consisted of a lecture and group work (1.5 h in total) on impulsivity. Traffic offences and crashes were monitored during 3 years, using police and traffic insurance fund databases. Functional polymorphisms of the dopamine transporter (DAT) and serotonin transporter genes (DAT1 VNTR and 5-HTTLPR) were assessed.

RESULTS:

The intervention significantly lowered general traffic risk and prevalence of traffic accidents. DAT1 VNTR 9R carriers, particularly males, had higher general traffic risk in the whole sample. Female 5-HTTLPR s' allele carriers of the intervention group had the lowest general traffic risk. Intervention was most effective in female DAT1 VNTR 10R/10R homozygotes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Brief impulsivity-centred intervention appears as a promising strategy for preventing risk-taking behaviour in novice drivers and can be fully integrated to driving school curriculum.

KEYWORDS:

dopamine; genotype; humans; impulsive behaviour; serotonin

PMID:
31182183
DOI:
10.1017/neu.2019.2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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