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The genetic basis of child and adolescent anxiety

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPediatric Anxiety Disorders
PublisherElsevier
Number of pages52
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2019

King's Authors

Abstract

This chapter brings together a selection of the most important research studies in the field of anxiety genetics. First, we discuss long-standing research methods and key early findings about the genetics of childhood anxiety from which the field has developed. Twin studies have shed light on the heritability of childhood anxiety and how genetic influences differ when anxiety is defined differently (e.g. different sub-types, ages, sex, raters). We then describe novel methods and findings that have emerged from the advent of DNA data. In particular, we are starting to address what specific genes are involved in anxiety (using genome-wide association analysis) and what we can do with them (‘polygenic scores’ for prediction). Behavioural genetic research also provides some of the best evidence of the role of the environment, and of the interplay between nature and nurture, in the development of anxiety in childhood. The second half of this chapter thus focuses on gene-environment interplay. Throughout the chapter, we discuss the kinds of questions that are likely to be able to be addressed in the future

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