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    The genetic basis of psychological traits in infancy: implications for understanding the causes of developmental psychopathology

    Papageorgiou, K.A. and Ronald, Angelica (2017) The genetic basis of psychological traits in infancy: implications for understanding the causes of developmental psychopathology. In: Williams, D. and Centifanti, L. (eds.) The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Developmental Psychopathology. New York, U.S.: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781118554463.

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    This chapter reviews genetic studies that have aimed to identify genes influencing psychological traits in infancy (from birth to age 12 months), and considers how this research informs us about the causes of developmental psychopathology. Specifically, this chapter systematically reviews findings from studies that associated common genetic variants with individual variation in infants’ attention, temperament and behaviour, and attachment disorganisation. DRD4 and 5-HTTLPR genes were the most frequently studied candidate genes. Possibly the most coherent set of results relates to the L-DRD4 genotype, which is significantly associated with infant attention, temperament, and attachment style. Research in infant genetics has been strengthened by a careful focus on uniform age ranges within studies, by several longitudinal studies, and by exploration of gene-environment interactions between genes and maternal characteristics. However there is also considerable inconsistency in results in this field and possible reasons for this are discussed. The chapter outlines the main genetic methods that have been used and what new genetic approaches such as polygenic risk scoring could offer infant genetics. Recent findings suggest that some traits during infancy predict individual differences in developmental psychopathology in childhood. It is argued that infant genetic research has considerable potential for the identification of populations at risk for psychopathology in later life, and this remains an area open for future research.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Angelica Ronald
    Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2017 09:26
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:18


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