Evidence for a gene-environment interaction in predicting behavioral inhibition in middle childhood

Nathan A. Fox, Kate E. Nichols, Heather A. Henderson, Kenneth Rubin, Louis Schmidt, Dean Hamer, Monique Ernst, Daniel S. Pine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

215 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gene-environment interactions are presumed to shape human behavior during early development. However, no human research has demonstrated that such interactions lead to stable individual differences in fear responses. We tested this possibility by focusing on a polymorphism in the promoter region of the gene for the serotonin transporter (5-HTT). This polymorphism has been linked to many indices of serotonin activity. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that an interaction between children's 5-HTT status and maternal reports of social support predicts inhibited behavior with unfamiliar peers in middle childhood. Results were consistent with this hypothesis: Children with the combination of the short 5-HTT allele and low social support had increased risk for behavioral inhibition in middle childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-926
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Science
Volume16
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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    Fox, N. A., Nichols, K. E., Henderson, H. A., Rubin, K., Schmidt, L., Hamer, D., Ernst, M., & Pine, D. S. (2005). Evidence for a gene-environment interaction in predicting behavioral inhibition in middle childhood. Psychological Science, 16(12), 921-926. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01637.x