Dopamine D4 receptor gene exon III polymorphism associated with binge drinking attitudinal phenotype

Michael G. Vaughn, Kevin M. Beaver, Matt DeLisi, Matthew O. Howard, Brian E. Perron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Although binge drinking is a serious public health problem, relatively few studies have investigated the relationship between specific dopaminergic genes such as the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) and binge drinking attitudinal phenotypes. This study used the DNA subsample (N = 233, mean age 19.8, standard deviation, 0.89) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to investigate the association between a 48 base-pair variable number of tandem repeats in the DRD4 gene and a measure of binge drinking. Multivariate regression models indicated that the 7-repeat (7R) allele of the exon III polymorphism is significantly positively associated (β = 0.16, P < .05) with binge drinking while controlling for low self-control and demographic variables. Findings were sturdy across race and gender. The present study provides unique evidence to the genetic underpinnings of binge drinking. Results suggest that the 7R allele may be an important contributor to the liability to binge drinking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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