Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 783–790 | Cite as

Serotonin Transporter Genotype Moderates the Link Between Children’s Reports of Overprotective Parenting and Their Behavioral Inhibition

  • Katie L. Burkhouse
  • Brandon E. Gibb
  • Meredith E. Coles
  • Valerie S. Knopik
  • John E. McGeary


The goal of the current study was to examine environmental and genetic correlates of children’s levels of behavioral inhibition (BI). Participants were 100 mother child pairs drawn from the community who were part of a larger study of the intergenerational transmission of depression. Results indicated that higher levels of maternal overprotection, as reported by the child, were associated with elevations in BI among children carrying two copies of the lower expressing 5-HTTLPR alleles (S or LG), but not among those carrying only one copy or those homozygous for the LA allele. In addition, this interaction was specific for the social component of BI, not the nonsocial component. This relation was maintained even after statistically controlling for children’s and mother’s psychopathology. Together, these findings add to emerging research demonstrating that G × E interactions predict variation in BI during childhood.


Behavioral inhibition 5-HTTLPR Parenting G × E 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie L. Burkhouse
    • 1
  • Brandon E. Gibb
    • 1
  • Meredith E. Coles
    • 1
  • Valerie S. Knopik
    • 2
    • 3
  • John E. McGeary
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBinghamton University (SUNY)BinghamtonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Behavioral GeneticsRhode Island HospitalProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Providence Veterans Affairs Medical CenterProvidenceUSA

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