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Gene–Environment Correlations

Gene–environment correlations (rGE) are passive, evocative, and active processes that create associations between individuals’ genes and their surroundings. In the 1960s, it was beginning to be acknowledged that not only does the environment (e.g., parents, peers, nutrients, viruses) shape the individual but also individuals shape their environment by making choices and eliciting certain reactions from others. In the context of families, and especially parent–child interactions, it was also acknowledged that because biological relatives share a percentage of their DNA variation, some of the correlations between them may not reflect a causal relation but may, at least partly, be explained by shared genes.

These processes have been termed rGE, because they lead to associations between individuals’ genetic makeup and their surrounding environment. Understanding rGE processes is imperative ...

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