University of Illinois at Chicago
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Gene x Environment effects of serotonin transporter, dopamine receptor D4, and monoamine oxidase A genes with contextual and parenting risk factors on symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, and depression in a community sample of 4-year-old children

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posted on 2014-05-06, 00:00 authored by John V. Lavigne, Laura B.K. Herzing, Edwin H. Cook, Susan a. Lebailly, Karen R. Gouze, Joyce Hopkins, Fred B. Bryant
Genetic factors can play a key role in the multiple level of analyses approach to understanding the development of child psychopathology. The present study examined gene-environment correlations and Gene x Environment interactions for polymorphisms of three target genes, the serotonin transporter gene, the D4 dopamine receptor gene, and the monoamine oxidase A gene in relation to symptoms of anxiety, depression, and oppositional behavior. Saliva samples were collected from 175 non-Hispanic White, 4-year-old children. Psychosocial risk factors included socioeconomic status, life stress, caretaker depression, parental support, hostility, and scaffolding skills. In comparison with the short forms (s/s, s/l) of the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic repeat, the long form (l/l) was associated with greater increases in symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder in interaction with family stress and with greater increases in symptoms of child depression and anxiety in interaction with caretaker depression, family conflict, and socioeconomic status. In boys, low-activity monoamine oxidase A gene was associated with increases in child anxiety and depression in interaction with caretaker depression, hostility, family conflict, and family stress. The results highlight the important of gene-environment interplay in the development of symptoms of child psychopathology in young children.


This study was supported by NIMH RO1 MH 063665 (J.V.L., Principal Investigator) and the Illinois Department of Public Aid, Excellence in Academic Medicine Program.


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This is a copy of an article published in the Development and Psychopathology © 2013 Cambridge University Press. The final publication is available at


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