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Title:Estimating the magnitude of gene-environment correlation for cognitive ability, personality, psychopathology, and height
Author(s):Zheng, Anqing
Director of Research:Briley, Daniel A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Briley, Daniel A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Derringer, Jaime; Fraley, R. Chris; Roberts, Brent W.; Simons, Daniel J.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):gene-environment correlation
biometric model
cognitive ability
Abstract:Decades of quantitative genetics research have concluded that all human psychological differences are conditioned on genetic effects. However, most of the research has focused on the independent contribution of genetic and environmental effects on trait development. Much less is known about how genetic and environmental influence are intertwined to guide development, though process like genetic-environment correlation (rGE) has been identified as a central driver of development in theoretical models. It is imperative to understand how and to what extent do people passively receive, evoke, and select environmental experiences as a systematic function of their traits that are genetically conditioned. Studies on quantifying rGE are needed to better understand the association between environmental exposures and psychological, behavioral, and socio outcomes. The current project seeks to investigate the role of genetic-environment correlation by using a range of phenotypes with multiple genetically informed designs. I used data drawn from the Adolescent Brain Cognition Development (ABCD) project, to explore the widespread covariation of measured environmental exposure and trait-specific genetic influences using between individual (singletons) and family-based designs (Chapter 6); and to investigate the effect of holistic passive, active/evocative genetic-environment correlation (rGE) across various trait domains by incorporating measured genetic effects (i.e., polygenic index) into twin models (Chapter 7). The results showed that i) trait specific PGI is associated with a wide range of putative environmental exposures, suggesting environmental mediation of polygenic prediction; 2); there is no evidence for passive, evocative, nor active rGE for cognitive and height; and 3) active/evocative rGE is accounting for large proportion of heritability for personality traits. Leveraging a broad range of phenotypes, specific environmental exposures, and PGIs, this thesis provides a holistic perspective on the extent to which genetic and environmental influence entangled to influence characteristic development. It also illustrates the usefulness of incorporating PGI in research and detecting aggregated rGE using extended twin models. General implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed (Chapter 8).
Issue Date:2021-12-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Anqing Zheng
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-04-29
Date Deposited:2021-12

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