Charles S. Carver

Carver, C. S., Johnson, S. L., Joormann, J., Kim, Y., & Nam, J. Y. (2011). Serotonin transporter polymorphism interacts with childhood adversity to predict aspects of impulsivity. Psychological Science, 22, 589-595.

The serotonin transporter polymorphism has been linked-often in interaction with environmental adversity-to a variety of outcomes, including affective disorders. This polymorphism is widely viewed as relating to anxiety traits. A different view is that it relates instead to impulsivity versus control in reacting to emotions. To test the latter view, 303 students were genotyped on this polymorphism and completed self-reports bearing on impulsive reactions to emotions (including both negative and positive emotions in separate measures), impulsive tendencies that do not stem from emotions, and childhood adversity. The impulsivity reports reflected 3 latent variables: pervasive influence of feelings, feelings (including positive feelings) triggering action, and (emotion-free) failure to carry through on intentions. Genotype x adversity interactions emerged for both emotion-related aspects of impulsivity. Discussion centers on theoretical implications.

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