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Vulnerability genes or plasticity genes?

Belsky, Jay and Jonassaint, C. and Pluess, Michael and Stanton, M. and Brummett, B. and Williams, R. (2009) Vulnerability genes or plasticity genes? Molecular Psychiatry 14 (8), pp. 746-754. ISSN 1359-4184.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mp.2009.44

Abstract

The classic diathesis–stress framework, which views some individuals as particularly vulnerable to adversity, informs virtually all psychiatric research on behavior–gene–environment (G × E) interaction. An alternative framework of ‘differential susceptibility’ is proposed, one which regards those most susceptible to adversity because of their genetic make up as simultaneously most likely to benefit from supportive or enriching experiences—or even just the absence of adversity. Recent G × E findings consistent with this perspective and involving monoamine oxidase-A, 5-HTTLPR (5-hydroxytryptamine-linked polymorphic region polymorphism) and dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) are reviewed for illustrative purposes. Results considered suggest that putative ‘vulnerability genes’ or ‘risk alleles’ might, at times, be more appropriately conceptualized as ‘plasticity genes’, because they seem to make individuals more susceptible to environmental influences—for better and for worse.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): genetics, environment (G × E), parenting, life events
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2011 12:00
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:18
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2320

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