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The death(s) of close friends and family moderate genetic influences on symptoms of major depressive disorder in adolescents

Background Prior work has suggested that genetic influences on major depressive disorder (MDD) may be activated by the experience of negative life events. However, it is unclear whether these results persist when controlling for the possibility of confounding active gene–environment correlations ( r... Full description

Journal Title: Psychological Medicine 2011, Vol.41(4), pp.721-729
Main Author: Gheyara, S
Other Authors: Klump, K. L , Mcgue, M , Iacono, W. G , Burt, S. A
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
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ID: ISSN: 0033-2917 ; E-ISSN: 1469-8978 ; DOI: 10.1017/S0033291710001285
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title: The death(s) of close friends and family moderate genetic influences on symptoms of major depressive disorder in adolescents
format: Article
creator:
  • Gheyara, S
  • Klump, K. L
  • Mcgue, M
  • Iacono, W. G
  • Burt, S. A
subjects:
  • Adoption Studies
  • Death
  • Depression
  • Gene–environment Interactions
  • Genetic Influences
ispartof: Psychological Medicine, 2011, Vol.41(4), pp.721-729
description: Background Prior work has suggested that genetic influences on major depressive disorder (MDD) may be activated by the experience of negative life events. However, it is unclear whether these results persist when controlling for the possibility of confounding active gene–environment correlations ( r GE ). Method We examined a sample of 1230 adopted and biological siblings between the ages of 10 and 20 years from the Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study. MDD was measured via a lifetime DSM-IV symptom count. Number of deaths experienced served as our environmental risk experience. Because this variable is largely independent of the individual's choices/behaviors, we were able to examine gene–environment interactions while circumventing possible r GE confounds. Results Biometric analyses revealed pronounced linear increases in the magnitude of genetic influences on symptoms of MDD with the number of deaths experienced, such that genetic influences were estimated to be near-zero for those who had experienced no deaths but were quite large in those who had experienced two or more deaths (i.e. accounting for roughly two-thirds of the phenotypic variance). By contrast, shared and non-shared environmental influences on symptoms of MDD were not meaningfully moderated by the number of deaths experienced. Conclusions Such results constructively replicate prior findings of genetic moderation of depressive symptoms by negative life events, thereby suggesting that this effect is not a function of active r GE confounds. Our findings are thus consistent with the notion that exposure to specific negative life events may serve to activate genetic risk for depression during adolescence.
language:
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0033-2917 ; E-ISSN: 1469-8978 ; DOI: 10.1017/S0033291710001285
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 00332917
  • 0033-2917
  • 14698978
  • 1469-8978
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titleThe death(s) of close friends and family moderate genetic influences on symptoms of major depressive disorder in adolescents
creatorGheyara, S ; Klump, K. L ; Mcgue, M ; Iacono, W. G ; Burt, S. A
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subjectAdoption Studies; Death; Depression; Gene–environment Interactions; Genetic Influences
descriptionBackground Prior work has suggested that genetic influences on major depressive disorder (MDD) may be activated by the experience of negative life events. However, it is unclear whether these results persist when controlling for the possibility of confounding active gene–environment correlations ( r GE ). Method We examined a sample of 1230 adopted and biological siblings between the ages of 10 and 20 years from the Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study. MDD was measured via a lifetime DSM-IV symptom count. Number of deaths experienced served as our environmental risk experience. Because this variable is largely independent of the individual's choices/behaviors, we were able to examine gene–environment interactions while circumventing possible r GE confounds. Results Biometric analyses revealed pronounced linear increases in the magnitude of genetic influences on symptoms of MDD with the number of deaths experienced, such that genetic influences were estimated to be near-zero for those who had experienced no deaths but were quite large in those who had experienced two or more deaths (i.e. accounting for roughly two-thirds of the phenotypic variance). By contrast, shared and non-shared environmental influences on symptoms of MDD were not meaningfully moderated by the number of deaths experienced. Conclusions Such results constructively replicate prior findings of genetic moderation of depressive symptoms by negative life events, thereby suggesting that this effect is not a function of active r GE confounds. Our findings are thus consistent with the notion that exposure to specific negative life events may serve to activate genetic risk for depression during adolescence.
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descriptionBackground Prior work has suggested that genetic influences on major depressive disorder (MDD) may be activated by the experience of negative life events. However, it is unclear whether these results persist when controlling for the possibility of confounding active gene–environment correlations ( r GE ). Method We examined a sample of 1230 adopted and biological siblings between the ages of 10 and 20 years from the Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study. MDD was measured via a lifetime DSM-IV symptom count. Number of deaths experienced served as our environmental risk experience. Because this variable is largely independent of the individual's choices/behaviors, we were able to examine gene–environment interactions while circumventing possible r GE confounds. Results Biometric analyses revealed pronounced linear increases in the magnitude of genetic influences on symptoms of MDD with the number of deaths experienced, such that genetic influences were estimated to be near-zero for those who had experienced no deaths but were quite large in those who had experienced two or more deaths (i.e. accounting for roughly two-thirds of the phenotypic variance). By contrast, shared and non-shared environmental influences on symptoms of MDD were not meaningfully moderated by the number of deaths experienced. Conclusions Such results constructively replicate prior findings of genetic moderation of depressive symptoms by negative life events, thereby suggesting that this effect is not a function of active r GE confounds. Our findings are thus consistent with the notion that exposure to specific negative life events may serve to activate genetic risk for depression during adolescence.
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abstractBackground Prior work has suggested that genetic influences on major depressive disorder (MDD) may be activated by the experience of negative life events. However, it is unclear whether these results persist when controlling for the possibility of confounding active gene–environment correlations ( r GE ). Method We examined a sample of 1230 adopted and biological siblings between the ages of 10 and 20 years from the Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study. MDD was measured via a lifetime DSM-IV symptom count. Number of deaths experienced served as our environmental risk experience. Because this variable is largely independent of the individual's choices/behaviors, we were able to examine gene–environment interactions while circumventing possible r GE confounds. Results Biometric analyses revealed pronounced linear increases in the magnitude of genetic influences on symptoms of MDD with the number of deaths experienced, such that genetic influences were estimated to be near-zero for those who had experienced no deaths but were quite large in those who had experienced two or more deaths (i.e. accounting for roughly two-thirds of the phenotypic variance). By contrast, shared and non-shared environmental influences on symptoms of MDD were not meaningfully moderated by the number of deaths experienced. Conclusions Such results constructively replicate prior findings of genetic moderation of depressive symptoms by negative life events, thereby suggesting that this effect is not a function of active r GE confounds. Our findings are thus consistent with the notion that exposure to specific negative life events may serve to activate genetic risk for depression during adolescence.
pubCambridge University Press
doi10.1017/S0033291710001285
pages721-729
date2011-04