Analysis of Behavioral and Emotional Problems in Children Highlights the Role of Genotype 9 Environment Interaction

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Abstract

This study tested for Genotype × Environment (G × E) interaction on behavioral and emotional problems in children using new methods that do not require identification of candidate genes or environments, can distinguish between interaction with shared and unique environment, and are insensitive to scale effects. Parental ratings of problem behavior from 14,755 twin pairs (5.3 years, SD = 0.22) indicated G × E interaction on emotional liability, social isolation, aggression, attention problems, dependency, anxiety, and physical coordination. Environmental influences increased in children who were genetically more predisposed to problem behavior, with ~20% of the variance due to G × E interaction (8% for anxiety to 37% for attention problems). Ignoring G × E interaction does not greatly bias heritability estimates, but it does offer a comprehensive model of the etiology for childhood problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1999-2016
Number of pages18
JournalChild Development
Volume86
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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