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Dev Psychol. 2009 Jan;45(1):77-89. doi: 10.1037/a0014549.

Gene X environment interactions in reading disability and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Department of Psychology, University of Denver, USA.


This article examines Gene x Environment (G x E) interactions in two comorbid developmental disorders--reading disability (RD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)--as a window on broader issues on G x E interactions in developmental psychology. The authors first briefly review types of G x E interactions, methods for detecting them, and challenges researchers confront in interpreting such interactions. They then review previous evidence for G x E interactions in RD and ADHD, the directions of which are opposite to each other: bioecological for RD and diathesis stress for ADHD. Given these results, the authors formulate and test predictions about G x E interactions that would be expected at the favorable end of each symptom dimension (e.g., above-average reading or attention). Consistent with their prediction, the authors found initial evidence for a resilience interaction for above-average reading: higher heritability in the presence of lower parental education. However, they did not find a G x E interaction at the favorable end of the ADHD symptom dimension. The authors conclude with implications for future research.

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