Gene–Environment Interplay

Genes and environments work together in the development of almost all human traits. The ways that genes and environments may work together include gene–environment correlation (rGE) and gene x environment interaction (GxE), referred to collectively as gene–environment interplay. By examining gene–environment interplay in development it is possible to help to clarify how individuals, via their genes, interact with, shape, and are shaped by their environments. This entry first provides an overview of rGE and GxE. It then discusses the importance of gene–environment interplay for understanding human development.

The types of designs used most often to examine gene–environment interplay are family-based behavioral genetic designs, like twin, family, and adoption studies. These types of designs take advantage of the naturally occurring variation in genetic relatedness among family members ...

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