Psychological and Genetic Differences Among Representatives of Various Ethnic Groups Living in South Russia

Keywords: aggression, direction, personal characteristics, ethnic groups, Val158Met polymorphism, COMT gene, Wagner Hand Test, trait anxiety, ergicity, plasticity


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.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Elena V. Vorobyeva, Don State Technical University

доктор психологических наук, профессор, заведующая кафедрой «Психофизиология и клиническая психология»

Ekaterina M. Kovsh, Don State Technical University, Southern Federal University

кандидат психологических наук, доцент

Pavel N. Ermakov, Southern Federal University

доктор биологических наук, профессор, заведующий кафедрой психофизиологии и клинической психологии Академии психологии и педагогики ЮФУ

Irina V. Abakumova, Don State Technical University

доктор психологических наук, профессор, заведующая кафедрой «Общая и консультативная психология»

Anzhelika I. Luchinkina, Crimean Engineering Pedagogical University

Доктор психологических наук, доцент, первый проректор

Elena Yu. Kol'chik, Crimean Engineering Pedagogical University

кандидат психологических наук, старший преподаватель

Eugene Borokhovski, Concordia University
  • Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, Research Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
  • Systematic Reviews Project Manager, Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance (CSLP), Concordia University:

1515 St. Catherine Street West

Room S-GA-2.126

Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1W1, Canada


Luchinkina A. I. Features of ethnic socialization in a multicultural society. Uchenye zapiski Krymskogo inzhenerno-pedagogicheskogo universiteta. Seriya: Pedagogika. Psikhologiya – Scientific Notes of the Crimean Engineering Pedagogical University. Series: Pedagogy, Psychology, 2016, no. 1 (3), pp. 121–128 (in Russian).

Kovas Yu. V., Malykh S. B. Conclusion: Prospects for behavioral genomics in education. In: B. Malykh, Yu. V. Kovas, D. A. Gaisina (eds.) Genomika povedeniya: detskoe razvitie i obrazovanie [Genomics of behavior: Child development and education]. Tomsk, National Research Tomsk State University Publ., 2016, pp. 382–390.

Alfimova M. V., Trubnikov V. I. Psychogenetics of aggression. Voprosy Psikhologii, 2000, no. 6, pp. 112–122 (in Russian).

Mustafina T. B., Leopol'd A. V., Pavlov K. A., Kekelidze Z. I., Makushkin E. V., Fastovtsov G. A., Chekhonin V. P. Genetic aspects of aggressive behavior in patients with schizophrenia: analytical review. Rossiiskii psikhiatricheskii zhurnal – Russian Journal of Psychiatry, 2014, no. 3, pp. 67–78 (in Russian).

Schindler K. M., Richter M. A., Kennedy J. L., Pato M. T., Pato C. N. Association between homozygosity at the COMT gene locus and obsessive compulsive disorder. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 2000, no. 96, pp. 721–724.

Montag C., Buckholtz J. W., Hartmann P., Merz M., Burk C., Hennig J., Reuter M. COMT genetic variation affects fear processing: Psychophysiological evidence. Behavioral Neuroscience, 2008, V. 122, no. 4, pp. 901–909. DOI: 10.1037/0735-7044.122.4.901

Kotyuk E., Duchek J., Head D., Szekely A., Goate A. M., Balota D. A. A genetic variant (COMT) coding dopaminergic activity predicts personality traits in healthy elderly. Personality and Individual Differences, 2015, V. 82, pp. 61–66. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.03.012

Konareva I. N. Studying personality traits in psychogenetics: Facts and hypotheses. Uchenye zapiski Krymskogo federal'nogo universiteta imeni V.I. Vernadskogo. Seriya “Biologiya, khimiya” – Scientific Notes of V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University. Biology. Chemistry, 2017, V. 3 (69), no. 4, pp. 127–137 (in Russian).

Tuvblad C., Narusyte J., Comasco E., Andershed H., Andershed A.-K., Colins O. F., Fanti K. A., Nilsson K. W. Physical and verbal aggressive behavior and COMT genotype: Sensitivity to the environment. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 2016, V. 171, Issue 5, pp. 708–718. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32430

Dumontheil I., Roggeman C., Ziermans T., Peyrard-Janvid M., Matsson H., Kere J., Klingberg T. Influence of the COMT genotype on working memory and brain activity changes during development. Biological Psychiatry, 2011, V. 70, Issue 3, pp. 222–229. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.02.027

Kovsh E. M., Vorobyeva E. V., Ermakov P. N., Abakumova I. V. Individual'no-psikhologicheskie osobennosti muzhchin i zhenshchin, nositelei razlichnykh genotipov po polimorfizmu Val158Met (g472a) gena COMT [Individual psychological characteristics in men and women bearing different Val158Met (g472a) gene polymorphism genotypes]. Materialy s"ezda Rossiiskogo psikhologicheskogo obshchestva [Proc. the Congress of the Russian Psychological Society]. Kazan, Kazan (Volga region) Federal University Publ., 2017, pp. 341–343.

Kryuchkova A. S., Ermakov P. N., Abakumova I. V. Psychogenetic characteristics of aggressive and hostile strategies of behavior in adolescents and young adults from various ethnic groups. Izvestiya Yuzhnogo federal'nogo universiteta. Pedagogicheskie nauki – Proceedings of the Southern Federal University. Pedagogical Science, 2016, no. 1, pp. 77–83 (in Russian).

Maryutina T. M. Endophenotypes in psychiatric genetics: Experience of ten years long study: A literature overview. Sovremennaya zarubezhnaya psikhologiya – Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2013, V. 2, no. 4, pp. 45–58 (in Russian).
Muscatello M. R. A., Scimeca G., Bruno A., Pandolfo G., Micò U., Bellinghieri P. M., Zoccali R. Anger and adolescence: A psychometric investigation on a sample of Italian high school students (book chapter). In: J. P. Welty (ed.) Psychology of anger: Symptoms, causes, and coping. New York, Nova Science Publishers, 2011, pp. 83–112.

Zvereva M. V., Enikolopov S. N., Oleichik I. V. Procrastination and aggression for mental disorders in young people. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie – Psychological Science and Education, 2015, V. 20, no. 2, pp. 70–77 (in Russian).
Kovsh E. M., Vorobyeva E. V., Ermakov P. N. Review of modern researches of psychogenetic factors of aggressive behavior. Rossiiskii psikhologicheskii zhurnal – Russian Psychological Journal, 2014, V. 11, no. 4, pp. 91–103 (in Russian). DOI: 10.21702/rpj.2014.4.7

Vorobyeva E. V., Ermakov P. N., Abakumova I. V., Kovsh E. M., Kryuchkova A. S. Psikhogenetika agressivnogo i vrazhdebnogo povedeniya [Psychogenetics of aggressive and hostile behavior]. Rostov-on-Don, SFU Publ., 2016. 102 p.

Voronin A. N., Luchinina E. V. Impact of social micro-environment on manifestations of aggression. Prikladnaya yuridicheskaya psikhologiya – Applied Legal Psychology, 2014, no. 2, pp. 97–113 (in Russian).

Kovsh E. M., Ermakov P. N., Vorobyeva E. V. Association of the COMT Val158Met polymorphic marker with the level of aggressiveness and strategies of behavior in conflict among girls aged 18-24 years. Severo-Kavkazskii psikhologicheskii vestnik – North-Caucasian Psychological Bulletin, 2015, no. 13/3, pp. 15–21 (in Russian).

Vorobyeva E. V., Perkov M. A., Shchetinina D. P. Studying the association between acceptance of aggression and emotional intelligence. Rossiiskii psikhologicheskii zhurnal – Russian Psychological Journal, 2017, V. 14, no. 2, pp. 28–50 (in Russian). DOI: 10.21702/rpj.2017.2.2

Mikhailenko O. I. Polyethnic competence in the system of competence approach in education. Nauchnaya mysl’ Kavkaza – Scientific Thought of the Caucasus, 2013, no. 4 (76), pp. 78–82 (in Russian).

Pavlova O. S., Semenova F. O. Value orientations of Muslim youth in the North-Western Caucasus. Minbar. Islamic Studies, 2018, V. 11, no. 2, pp. 361–374 (in Russian). DOI: 10.31162/2618-9569-2018-11-2-361-374

Bersirova A. K., Shkhakhutova Z. Z. Mezhetnicheskie vzaimootnosheniya v sovremennom rossiiskom obshchestve [Inter-ethnic relations in the modern Russian society]. Materialy mezhdunarodnoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii Etnosotsial'nye protsessy: v poiskakh innovatsionnoi metodologii [Proc. the International Theoretical and Practical Conference “Ethno-social processes: Searching innovative methodology”]. Maikop, Elektronnye izdatel'skie tekhnologii Publ., 2016, pp. 23–26.

Khakunova F. P., Movsesyan E. M. Cultural and educational space as a factor for schoolchildren’s tolerance. Vestnik Maikopskogo gosudarstvennogo tekhnologicheskogo universiteta – Bulletin of Maikop State Technological University, 2014, no. 4, pp. 96–102 (in Russian).

Enikolopov S. N. Methods of studying aggression in clinical psychology. In: N. V. Zvereva, I. F. Roshchina (eds.) Diagnostika v meditsinskoĭ psikhologii: traditsii i perspektivy [Diagnosis in medical psychology: traditions and prospect]. Moscow, 2011, pp. 82–100 (in Russian).

Akhmetzyanova A. I. Using the Wagner Hand Test in the study of associative and dissociative mechanisms of destructive behavior in adolescents. Kollektsiya gumanitarnykh issledovanii – Collection of Humanitarian Studies, 2016, no. 1 (1), pp. 62–68 (in Russian).

Makushkina O. A., Buravtsov K. A., Durneva M. Yu. Clinical and social characteristics and aggressive behavior of patients with long term of execution of compulsory measures of a medical nature. Obozrenie psikhiatrii i meditsinskoi psikhologii imeni V. M. Bekhtereva – The Bekhterev Review of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, 2017, no. 1, pp. 45–52 (in Russian).

Shamova T. M., Karpovich-Misnik A. V. Personality characteristics of patients with multiple sclerosis in the projective Hand Test technique. Zhurnal Grodnenskogo gosudarstvennogo meditsinskogo universiteta – Journal of the Grodno State Medical University, 2007, no. 4 (20), pp. 80–82 (in Russian).

Belomestnova N. V. Opyt primeneniya metodiki the hand test v praktike sudebno-psikhologicheskoi ekspertizy v ugolovnom protsesse [Experience of using the Hand Test in forensic psychological examination in criminal trials]. Teoriya i praktika sudebnoi ekspertizy: mezhdunarodnyi opyt, problemy, perspektivy: sbornik nauchnykh trudov I Mezhdunarodnogo foruma [Proc. the I International forum “Theory and practice of forensic examination: International experience, issues, and prospects”]. Moscow, Moscow University of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia Publ., 2017, pp. 415–420.

Khanin Yu. L. (ed.) Stress i trevoga v sporte [Stress and anxiety in sports]. Moscow, Fizkul'tura i sport Publ., 1983. 288 p.

Rusalov V. M. Temperament v strukture individual'nosti cheloveka: differentsial'no-psikhofiziologicheskie i psikhologicheskie issledovaniya [Temperament in the structure of human individuality: Differential psychophysiological and psychological studies]. Moscow, IP RAS Publ., 2012. 528 p.

Kurbatova T. N., Mulyar O. N. Proektivnaya metodika issledovaniya lichnosti “Hand-test” [The projective Hand Test technique for studying personality]. St. Petersburg, IMATON Publ., 2001. 64 p.

Witte A. V., Flöel A. Effects of COMT polymorphisms on brain function and behavior in health and disease. Brain Research Bulletin, 2012, V. 88, Issue 5, pp. 418–428. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2011.11.012

Kukhtinskaya L. V., Zuraev A. V., Budevich V. A., Mosse I. B. Modern views on genetic determinants of human psycho-emotional stability. Molekulyarnaya i prikladnaya genetika – Molecular and Applied Genetics, 2016, V. 20, pp. 96–109 (in Russian).

Schneider M., Van der Linden M., Glaser B., Rizzi E., Dahoun S. P., Hinard C., Bartoloni L., Antonarakis S. E., Debbané M., Eliez S. Preliminary structure and predictive value of attenuated negative symptoms in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Psychiatry Research, 2012, V. 196, Issues 2–3, pp. 277–284. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2011.08.017

Spasova A. P., Kurbatova I. V., Barysheva O. Yu., Tikhova G. P. The effect of polymorphism of cathechol-o-methyltrans-ferase gene on efficiency of analgesia in cancer patients. Rossiiskii zhurnal boli – Russian Journal of Pain, 2016, no. 3–4 (51), pp. 32–42 (in Russian).

Luchinkina A. I. Ethnic group, ethnicity, ethnic identity, ethnic individuation, and ethnic socialization in a multicultural society. In: Mezhkul'turnye vzaimodeistviya v polikul'turnom obshchestve [Intercultural interaction in a multicultural society]. Simferopol, IP Khoteeva L.V. Publ., 2016, pp. 43–63.

Kucher A. N. Gene-environmental interaction as the basis of health formation. Ekologicheskaya genetika – Ecological Genetics, 2017, V. 15, no. 4, pp. 19–32 (in Russian). DOI: 10.17816/ecogen15419-32

Atamanova I. V., Kozlova N. V., Bogomaz S. A., Zalevskii V. G., Neyaskina Yu. Yu. Specific character of person-environment interactions: A case of three Russian cities. Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Filosofiya. Sotsiologiya. Politologiya – Tomsk State University Journal of Philosophy, Sociology and Political Science, 2018, no. 41, pp. 90–105 (in Russian).

Karabushchenko N. B., Khvorova E. M. Inter-ethnic characteristics of facial expression recognition. Vestnik Mininskogo universiteta – Vestnik of Minin University, 2017, no. 3 (20). DOI: 10.26795/2307-1281-2017-3-14
How to Cite
Vorobyeva, E. V., Kovsh, E. M., Ermakov, P. N., Abakumova, I. V., Luchinkina, A. I., Kol’chik, E. Y., & Borokhovski, E. (2019). Psychological and Genetic Differences Among Representatives of Various Ethnic Groups Living in South Russia. Russian Psychological Journal, 15(4), 206-244.