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Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2011;7:383-409. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104518.

Gene-environment interaction in psychological traits and disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0126, USA.


There has been an explosion of interest in studying gene-environment interactions (GxE) as they relate to the development of psychopathology. In this article, I review different methodologies to study gene-environment interaction, providing an overview of methods from animal and human studies and illustrations of gene-environment interactions detected using these various methodologies. Gene-environment interaction studies that examine genetic influences as modeled latently (e.g., from family, twin, and adoption studies) are covered, as well as studies of measured genotypes. Importantly, the explosion of interest in gene-environment interactions has raised a number of challenges, including difficulties with differentiating various types of interactions, power, and the scaling of environmental measures, which have profound implications for detecting gene-environment interactions. Taking research on gene-environment interactions to the next level will necessitate close collaborations between psychologists and geneticists so that each field can take advantage of the knowledge base of the other.

© 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved

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