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Br J Psychiatry. 2001 Aug;179:116-21.

Genetic moderation of environmental risk for depression and anxiety in adolescent girls.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0030, USA. jsilberg@hsc.vcu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is huge individual variation in people's response to negative life events.

AIMS:

To test the hypothesis that genetic factors moderate susceptibility to the environmentally mediated risks associated with negative life events.

METHOD:

The Virginia Twin Study of Adolescent Behavioral Development (VTSABD) was used to study the effects of independent life events (assessed from maternal interview) on depression/anxiety (assessed from child interview) in 184 same-gender female twin pairs, aged 14--7 years, measured on two occasions.

RESULTS:

There was no genetic effect on the independent negative life events studied. A significant gene-environment interaction was found using structural equation modelling. There was no effect of independent life events on adolescents' depression in the absence of parental emotional disorder, but a significant effect in its presence.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is an environmentally mediated effect of life events on depression/anxiety. Genetic factors play a significant role in individual differences in susceptibility to these environmentally mediated risks.

PMID:
11483472
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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