Modeling gene-environment interaction in longitudinal data: Risk for neuroticism due to interaction between maternal care and the Dopamine 4 Receptor gene (DRD4)
Version of Record online: 8 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Australian Psychological Society
Australian Journal of Psychology
Special Issue: Special Edition on Longitudinal Studies
Volume 63, Issue 1, pages 18–25, March 2011
How to Cite
Badcock, P. B., Moore, E., Williamson, E., Berk, M., Williams, L. J., Bjerkeset, O., Nordahl, H. M., Patton, G. C. and Olsson, C. A. (2011), Modeling gene-environment interaction in longitudinal data: Risk for neuroticism due to interaction between maternal care and the Dopamine 4 Receptor gene (DRD4). Australian Jnl of Psychology, 63: 18–25. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-9536.2011.00003.x
- Issue online: 8 MAR 2011
- Version of Record online: 8 MAR 2011
- Received 25 June 2010. Accepted for publication 16 September 2010.
- additive interaction;
- gene-environment interaction;
- maternal care;
The purpose of this study was to investigate risk for neuroticism due to the joint action of low maternal care and compromised mesocorticolimbic ‘reward’ system function linked to a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) in the dopamine 4 receptor gene (DRD4). Data were drawn from the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study, a longitudinal study of the health and well-being of 2,000 young Australians followed from adolescence to young adulthood across 8 waves from 14- to 28-years. Genetic risk was defined by carriage of at least one copy of the 7-repeat allele or derivative alleles 5, 6, and 8 (labeled 7R+). Neuroticism was assessed in adolescence and young adulthood. We observed an approximately fourfold increase in the odds of reporting neurotic symptoms in carriers of the 7R+ disposition who reported low maternal care compared with non-carriers who reported high maternal care. The percentage of risk attributable to mechanisms in which both factors played a role was 35%. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for prevention.