Personality, dopamine receptor D4 exon III polymorphisms, and academic achievement in medical students

Byung Joo Ham, Young Mee Lee, Meyoung Kon Kim, Juneyoung Lee, Duck Sun Ahn, Myoung Jin Choi, Kyoon Lyoo In, Ihn Geun Choi, Min Soo Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study investigated the relationships between genetic polymorphisms, personality traits, and academic achievement in medical school students. Study subjects were 220 1st-year medical students at Korea University Medical School during two consecutive academic years (2003-2004). Grade-point averages (GPA) during the second semester of the 1st year of the medical school were obtained as a measure of academic achievement. In addition, all participants completed the Temperament and Character Inventory and questionnaires on depression and anxiety. The polymorphisms in exon III of the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) were determined using the polymerase chain reaction. Our results revealed that both male and female subjects with a higher GPA may be characterized as having higher persistence and lower novelty seeking traits. In addition, male subjects with high GPA had higher scores in self directedness and female subjects with a higher GPA may be characterized as having higher scores in harm avoidance. Male students with 4-repeat alleles had a significantly lower GPA than male students without 4-repeat alleles.This relationship also remained after controlling for the personality variables, none of which showed a relationship with the polymorphism after Bonferroni correction. For females, however, no associations could be found between GPA and the polymorphism. Thus, the present study demonstrated for the first time a possible influence of the DRD4 48 bp variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism on academic achievement and proved that this was not mediated by performance-associated personality traits.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)203-209
    Number of pages7
    JournalNeuropsychobiology
    Volume53
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug

    Keywords

    • Academic achievement
    • Dopamine D4 receptor
    • Personality traits

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Biological Psychiatry

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