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Parental Effects

  1. Dani Fallin,
  2. Lyle J. Palmer

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a05070

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Fallin, D. and Palmer, L. J. 2005. Parental Effects. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 6.

Author Information

  1. Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


An individual's risk for a genetic disease or phenotype, conditional on their own genotype, may depend on parental effects such as imprinting, or the genotype or phenotype of a particular parent. For example, under imprinting, a risk-conferring allele may only be expressed in an individual if it is inherited from a particular parent. Alternatively, a mother's genotype, even if not transmitted to her offspring, may influence in utero conditions and increase risk and/or interact with genetic predisposition for particular diseases among those offspring. The existence of such parental effects may lead to incorrect interpretations of the (marginal) effects of particular genes when performing human genetic studies at the individual level, unless such effects are accounted for in the analysis. We discuss potential scenarios of such parental effects, and present an overview of current methods for accommodating these effects when performing segregation analysis, linkage analysis, or genetic association studies.


  • parental effects;
  • parent-of-origin effects;
  • maternal effects;
  • imprinting;
  • linkage;
  • association;
  • variance components;
  • interaction