G x E interactions on academic performance

Ah, Gene by Environment interactions (or as we say in the biz, G x E)! You are hot stuff in behavioural science these days! You see, rather than having a big argument about whether nature (genes) or nurture (environment) is more important, almost every behavioural scientist now believes that a combination, or interaction, of both determines a person’s outcome. Some people are more sensitive to their environment than others, whether it is a negative or positive environment, and a good analogy for this is orchids and dandelions – which I will explain in another post sometime soon.

Go ahead and blame your parents for everything,
genes or parenting style.
Photo: © Pumba1 | 
Stock Free Images

For now, here is an interesting paper from this month’s special issue of Development and Psychopathology about the combination of genes and parenting style (from birth to age 3) which interact to predict children’s academic outcomes in grade 1. Yet another paper doing its bit to help us understand how modifiable risk factors at an early age can predict outcomes much later. This kind of research helps us design early intervention programs and preventative measures for kids who are at risk to ensure they have the best chance at a good outcome. Well done!

Development and Psychopathology’s special issue this month is a focus on the contribution of genetics to developmental psychopathology and is well worth a read. Check out the list of articles here.


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