Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

School grades and genes.

Prof Kevin M Beaver is an expert in criminology at Florida State University.

He knew that certain dopamine genes are related to many factors that might interfere with academic performance, including adolescent delinquency, ADHD, working memory, cognition and intelligence. So a research checked genes versus school grades.

2,500 US students in middle and high schools were tracked from 1994 to 2008 in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

They found 3 gene variants involved in the dopamine system of the brain that were linked at a significant level to grades. The 3 variants had different effects.

A DRD2 variation was linked to lower scores in maths, English, science and history.

A DAT1 variation was linked to lower scores in English only.

A DRD4 variation was linked to lowered maths and English, but not to the other subjects.

The impact of the variations could mean the difference between being accepted into a college versus being rejected.

Genetic research in biosocial criminology has revealed the mutual interdependence of genes and environment, which suggests a similar effect in school grades. This leads to the possibility of looking to environmental factors for improvement e.g. teacher performance, behaviour of other students etc.


September 3, 2010 - Posted by | ADHD, Brain, Genetics, Kevin M Beaver, Learning, Success

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