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Genes, Behavior, and the Social Environment: Moving Beyond the Nature/Nurture Debate.


Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Assessing Interactions Among Social, Behavioral, and Genetic Factors in Health; Hernandez LM, Blazer DG, editors.


Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.
The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health.


The goal of the study was to identify approaches and strategies to strengthen the integration of social, behavioral, and genetic research and to consider the relevant training and infrastructure needs. More specifically, NIH requested the following: (1) Review the state of the science on the interactions between the social environment and genetics that affect human health. (2) Develop case studies that will demonstrate how the interactions of the social environment and genetics affect health outcomes; illustrate the methodological issues involved in measuring the interactions; elucidate the research gaps; point to key areas necessary for integrating social, behavioral, and genetic research; and suggest mechanisms for overcoming barriers. (3) Identify gaps in the knowledge and barriers that exist to integrating social, behavioral, and genetic research in this area. (4) Recommend specific short- and long-term priorities for social and behavioral research on gene-social environment interactions; identify mechanisms that can be used to encourage interdisciplinary research in this area. (5) Assess workforce, resource, and infrastructure needs and make actionable recommendations on overcoming barriers and developing mechanisms to accelerate progress.

Copyright © 2006, National Academy of Sciences

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