Gene-environment interaction using polygenic scores: Do polygenic scores for psychopathology moderate predictions from environmental risk to behavior problems?

Robert Plomin, Agnieszka Gidziela, Margherita Malanchini, Sophie von Stumm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The DNA revolution has energized research on interactions between genes and environments (GxE) by creating indices of G (polygenic scores) that are powerful predictors of behavioral traits. Here, we test the extent to which polygenic scores for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and neuroticism moderate associations between parent reports of their children's environmental risk (E) at ages 3 and 4 and teacher ratings of behavior problems (hyperactivity/inattention, conduct problems, emotional symptoms, and peer relationship problems) at ages 7, 9 and 12. The sampling frame included up to 6687 twins from the Twins Early Development Study. Our analyses focused on relative effect sizes of G, E and GxE in predicting behavior problems. G, E and GxE predicted up to 2%, 2% and 0.4%, respectively, of the variance in externalizing behavior problems (hyperactivity/inattention and conduct problems) across ages 7, 9 and 12, with no clear developmental trends. G and E predictions of emotional symptoms and peer relationship problems were weaker. A quarter (12 of 48) of our tests of GxE were nominally significant ( = .05). Increasing the predictive power of G and E would enhance the search for GxE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • behavior problems
  • genotype–environment interaction
  • twins
  • polygenic scores

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