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    Confirmatory and competitive evaluation of alternative gene-environment interaction hypotheses

    Belsky, Jay and Pluess, Michael and Widaman, K.F. (2013) Confirmatory and competitive evaluation of alternative gene-environment interaction hypotheses. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 54 (10), pp. 1135-1143. ISSN 0021-9630.

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    Background: Most gene-environment interaction (GXE) research, though based on clear, vulnerability-oriented hypotheses, is carried out using exploratory rather than hypothesis-informed statistical tests, limiting power and making formal evaluation of competing GXE propositions difficult. Method: We present and illustrate a new regression technique which affords direct testing of theory-derived predictions, as well as competitive evaluation of alternative diathesis-stress and differential-susceptibility propositions, using data on the moderating effect of DRD4 with regard to the effect of childcare quality on children's social functioning. Results: Results show that (a) the new approach detects interactions that the traditional one does not; (b) the discerned GXE fit the differential-susceptibility model better than the diathesis-stress one; and (c) a strong rather than weak version of differential susceptibility is empirically supported. Conclusion: The new method better fits the theoretical ‘glove’ to the empirical ‘hand,’ raising the prospect that some failures to replicate GXE results may derive from standard statistical approaches being less than ideal.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Gene-environment interaction, diathesis-stress, differential susceptibility, child care, DRD4
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2013 09:05
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:03


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