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Meta-analysis of gene–environment interactions in developmental psychopathology

  • Alan Taylor (a1) and Julia Kim-Cohen (a2)

As studies of measured gene–environment interactions (G × E) in developmental psychopathology gain momentum, methods for systematically and quantitatively summarizing effects across multiple studies are urgently needed. Meta-analyses of G × E findings are critical for evaluating the overall statistical and theoretical significance of any given G × E based on cumulative and systematically combined knowledge. Although meta-analytic methods for the combination of study findings based on single effect measures such as odds ratios and mean differences are well established, equivalent methods for the meta-analysis of studies investigating interactions are not well developed. This article describes one simple approach to the meta-analysis of G × E effects using, as a contemporaneous example, the interaction of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene and the impact of childhood maltreatment on risk for developing antisocial behavior.

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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Alan Taylor, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Box Number PO80, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK; E-mail:
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Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
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