Infant Pathways to Externalizing Behavior: Evidence of Genotype × Environment Interaction

Leslie D. Leve, David C.R. Kerr, Daniel Shaw, Xiaojia Ge, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, Laura V. Scaramella, John B. Reid, Rand Conger, David Reiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


To further the understanding of the effects of early experiences, 9-month-old infants were observed during a frustration task. The analytical sample was composed of 348 linked triads of participants (adoptive parents, adopted child, and birth parent[s]) from a prospective adoption study. It was hypothesized that genetic risk for externalizing problems and affect dysregulation in the adoptive parents would independently and interactively predict a known precursor to externalizing problems: heightened infant attention to frustrating events. Results supported the moderation hypotheses involving adoptive mother affect dysregulation: Infants at genetic risk showed heightened attention to frustrating events only when the adoptive mother had higher levels of anxious and depressive symptoms. The Genotype × Environment interaction pattern held when substance use during pregnancy was considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-356
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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