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Pediatrics. 2015 Oct;136(4):e914-21. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-0080. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

Effects of Genotype and Sleep on Temperament.

Author information

1
Ludmer Center for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health, and Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal Canada; Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada; andree-anne.bouvette-turcot@umontreal.ca.
2
Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom;
3
Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada;
4
Ludmer Center for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health, and Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal Canada;
5
Center for Addiction and Mental Health, and.
6
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada;
7
Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal Canada;
8
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; Women's Health Concerns Clinic, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Canada; and.
9
Ludmer Center for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health, and Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal Canada; Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Singapore.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Sleep problems are frequent in young children; however, children vary in the degree to which they are affected by poor sleep quality. We investigated whether a polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene, which is linked to emotional function, is a potential moderator of the influences of sleep duration on infant temperament using longitudinal data.

METHODS:

We examined the interactive effects of average sleep duration between 6 and 36 months of age and the 5-HTTLPR genotype on negative emotionality/behavioral dysregulation at 36 months in 209 children recruited into a longitudinal birth cohort study. Triallelic genotyping of 5-HTTLPR was performed by looking at SLC6A4 genotype, focusing on the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) including the SNP polymorphism (rs23351). Child sleep habits were assessed with a maternal self-report questionnaire.

RESULTS:

After controlling for demographics and both previous and concurrent maternal depression, multiple linear regression analyses revealed a significant interaction effect of average sleep duration for the first 3 years of life and 5-HTTLPR genotype on child negative emotionality/behavioral dysregulation such that the effects were exclusive to those with low-expressing 5-HTTLPR genotypes.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest differential susceptibility to the effect of sleep duration early in life, which reiterates that the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR represents a marker of increased environmental sensitivity regarding emotional development. Differential susceptibility theory posits that certain factors may increase an individual's susceptibility to the environment, in either a positive or negative fashion.

PMID:
26371199
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2015-0080
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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