Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are one of the earliest available forms of genetic variation available for analysis and have been utilized in studies of neurological, behavioral, and health phenotypes. Although findings from these studies have been suggestive, their interpretation has been complicated by a variety of factors including, among others, limited power due to small sample sizes. The current report details the availability, diversity, and allele and genotype frequencies of six commonly examined SSRs in the ethnically diverse, population-based National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. A total of 106,743 genotypes were generated across 15,140 participants that included four microsatellites and two di-nucleotide repeats in three dopamine genes (DAT1, DRD4, DRD5), the serotonin transporter, and monoamine oxidase A. Allele and genotype frequencies showed a complex pattern and differed significantly between populations. For both di-nucleotide repeats we observed a greater allelic diversity than previously reported. The availability of these six SSRs in a large, ethnically diverse sample with extensive environmental measures assessed longitudinally offers a unique resource for researchers interested in health and behavior.
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This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgement is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website (www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth). No direct support was received from grant PO1-HD31921 for this analysis.
Conflict of Interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in this study.
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Haberstick, B.C., Smolen, A., Stetler, G.L. et al. Simple Sequence Repeats in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health: An Ethnically Diverse Resource for Genetic Analysis of Health and Behavior. Behav Genet 44, 487–497 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-014-9662-x