Association of a polymorphism of the dopamine transporter gene with externalizing behavior problems and associated temperament traits: a longitudinal study from infancy to the mid-teens

Am J Med Genet. 2001 May 8;105(4):346-50. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1355.


There have been reports that a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) polymorphism situated in the 3' untranslated region of the dopamine transporter gene is associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. On the basis of these findings, we predicted an association of this polymorphism with hyperactivity, other externalizing behavior problems, and related temperament traits in a general population sample. The association was investigated using children participating in a longitudinal study of childhood temperament and development. DNA was taken from 660 children who had been assessed for temperament from 4-8 months to 15-16 years, and for behavior problems from 3-4 to 15-16 years. No significant associations were found at any age. There are a number of methodological differences from earlier studies that might explain the lack of associations with hyperactivity. It is also possible that the earlier findings are not replicable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / genetics*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / pathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA / genetics
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperament*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • DNA