Parenting matters: Family science in the genomic era

Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the past decades, the effects of parenting and the rearing environment have been seriously queried by behavioral genetic research. The current generation of genetic studies ascribes more influence to parenting, seeking to answer specific questions of shared and non-shared environment and directed at the interplay between nature and nurture (gene-environment interaction, GxE). We present results from our research on dopamine-related genes as an illustration of the difference between "genetic risk" and "differential susceptibility" as frameworks for the interpretation of GxE effects in both children and parents, and we argue that dopamine-related genes may play a part in explaining differential susceptibility to the rearing environment. The growing evidence for environmental impact on gene expression (i.e., epigenetic programming) underlines the significance of parenting. Implications for family science are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalFamily Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential susceptibility
  • Genetics
  • GxE interaction
  • Intervention
  • Parenting


Dive into the research topics of 'Parenting matters: Family science in the genomic era'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this