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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2011 Aug;39(6):783-90. doi: 10.1007/s10802-011-9526-2.

Serotonin transporter genotype moderates the link between children's reports of overprotective parenting and their behavioral inhibition.

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Department of Psychology, Binghamton University (SUNY), Binghamton, NY 13902-6000, USA.


The goal of the current study was to examine environmental and genetic correlates of children's levels of behavioral inhibition (BI). Participants were 100 mother child pairs drawn from the community who were part of a larger study of the intergenerational transmission of depression. Results indicated that higher levels of maternal overprotection, as reported by the child, were associated with elevations in BI among children carrying two copies of the lower expressing 5-HTTLPR alleles (S or L(G)), but not among those carrying only one copy or those homozygous for the L(A) allele. In addition, this interaction was specific for the social component of BI, not the nonsocial component. This relation was maintained even after statistically controlling for children's and mother's psychopathology. Together, these findings add to emerging research demonstrating that G × E interactions predict variation in BI during childhood.

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