Psychological and Genetic Differences Among Representatives of Various Ethnic Groups Living in South Russia
Introduction. This paper (a) presents the study of psychological differences in manifestations of aggressive attitudes and personal characteristics among representatives of various ethnic groups living in South Russia and (b) concentrates on genetic differences in the COMT Val158Met polymorphism within the study sample. This is the first study that (a) has assessed manifestations of aggressive attitudes and personal characteristics in healthy representatives of various ethnic groups with different COMT genotypes and (b) has offered normative data for the Wagner Hand Test obtained from an investigation in a sample of South Russian individual participants.
Methods. The study used the following techniques: (a) the Spielberger–Hanin anxiety test, (b) the questionnaire of formal-dynamic characteristics of personality by Rusalov, and (c) the Wagner Hand Test (in Kurbatova’s modification). Genetic analysis included the method for DNA extraction from buccal epithelial cells and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. The psychological study involved university students (n = 163; mean age, 18.9 years); the psychogenetic study involved residents of Crimea (n = 76; 57 women and 19 men).
Results. The representatives of Russian and Tatar ethnic groups with the Met/Met COMT genotype had significantly higher total scores of aggression and direction, higher level of trait anxiety, and low motor ergicity. Tatar girls from the Val/Val COMT genotype group had high scores in the exhibitionism scale. The Val/Met COMT genotype in Russian girls was associated with manifestations of tension (anxiety) and ‘pathology’ as a total index of ‘personal maladjustment’ and the ‘tendency to escape from reality’.
Discussion. The obtained results can be applied to the practice of individualized socio-pedagogical impacts on representatives of various ethnic groups with the genotypes associated with maladaptive personality traits.
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