Influences of Gene–Environment Interaction and Correlation on Disruptive Behavior in the Family Context

Part of the Advances in Development and Psychopathology: Brain Research Foundation Symposium Series book series (AIDP, volume 1)


Developmental behavioral genetic approaches have facilitated important advances in understanding the transactional associations between parents’ and children’s behaviors in the establishment and exacerbation of child disruptive behavior disorders. In this chapter we provide a brief review of the behavioral genetic approach and review relevant findings from quantitative and molecular genetic research illustrating gene–environment correlation and interaction influences on the development of disruptive behavior, focusing on the role of the family environment. The literature demonstrates multiple mechanisms by which genetic and environmental influences exert transactional influences on each other and on family members’ behaviors: (1) parents pass genes and environments consistent with those genes to their children which can result in a higher probability that the child develops disruptive behavior disorders, (2) the genetically and environmentally influenced disruptive behaviors of the child can impact parenting behaviors, (3) parenting can diminish or exacerbate genetic and environmental influences on child disruptive behaviors, and (4) genes can diminish or exacerbate children’s responses to parenting influences which may serve to exacerbate or attenuate disruptive behavior disorders. Finally, we offer suggestions for how findings from other models of the development of disruptive behavior can inform future research on gene–environment correlation and interaction influences on the development of disruptive behavior, including creative extensions of data collection and analytic techniques, novel developmental behavioral genetic techniques, and collaboration across multiple disciplines.


Antisocial Behavior Environmental Influence Disruptive Behavior Genetic Influence Molecular Genetic Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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