Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Gene-Environment Correlation

  • Kate Lynch
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1470-1



In population and behavioral genetics, gene-environment correlation occurs when genetic variance and environmental variance are correlated in a heritability analysis. This happens when there is an association between an individual’s genetic background and their environment, resulting in an association between environmental and genetic differences at a population level.


Heritability (H 2) is a statistical parameter that estimates how much variation in a trait or phenotype within a population is due to genetic differences between individuals in that population. To arrive at an estimate, variation is encompassed in the statistical term variance. H 2 is summarized as the proportion of genetic variance (V G) (as opposed to environmental variance (V E)) that accounts for phenotypic variance (V P) (Eq. 1):
$$ {\mathrm{H}}^2=\frac{{\mathrm{V}}_{\mathrm{G}}}{{\mathrm{V}}_{\mathrm{P}}} $$


Educational Performance Parental Rejection Behavioral Genetic Developmental Environment Parental Psychopathy 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ilan Dar-Nimrod
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia