Editorial Policy on Candidate Gene Association and Candidate Gene-by-Environment Interaction Studies of Complex Traits

  title={Editorial Policy on Candidate Gene Association and Candidate Gene-by-Environment Interaction Studies of Complex Traits},
  author={John K. Hewitt},
  journal={Behavior Genetics},
  • J. Hewitt
  • Published 2012
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Behavior Genetics
The literature on candidate gene associations is full of reports that have not stood up to rigorous replication. This is the case both for straightforward main effects and for candidate gene-by-environment interactions (Duncan and Keller 2011). As a result, the psychiatric and behavior genetics literature has become confusing and it now seems likely that many of the published findings of the last decade are wrong or misleading and have not contributed to real advances in knowledge. The reasons… 
Candidate Gene–Environment Interaction Research
  • D. Dick, A. Agrawal, +6 authors K. Sher
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2015
Recommendations are provided for rigorous research practices for cG×E studies that are believed to advance its potential to contribute more robustly to the understanding of complex behavioral phenotypes.
Editorial Policy for Candidate Gene Studies
The Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology receives an increasing number of manuscripts reporting tests of associations of candidate genetic polymorphisms with measures of psychopathology in children
Cohort of birth modifies the association between FTO genotype and BMI
There is a robust relationship between birth cohort and the genotype–phenotype correlation between the FTO risk allele and BMI, with an observed inflection point for those born after 1942, which suggests genetic influences on complex traits like obesity can vary over time, presumably because of global environmental changes that modify allelic penetrance.
Candidate Gene Studies of a Promising Intermediate Phenotype: Failure to Replicate
An attempt to replicate the findings of a series of candidate gene analyses of acute subjective and physiological responses to amphetamine in 99–162 healthy human volunteers in over 200 additional participants ascertained using identical methodology was unable to replicate any of the previous findings.
Reported associations between receptor genes and human sociality are explained by methodological errors and do not replicate
Using a sample of 757 British individuals, Pearce et al. (1) tested 24 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in six candidate genes for association with eight social behavior traits and found 44 were significant at P < 0.05, a proportion of significant associations that would be expected by chance if there was no true association between the SNPs and the traits measured in this dataset.
Replicability and Robustness of Genome-Wide-Association Studies for Behavioral Traits
The results show that large and therefore well-powered genome-wide-association studies can identify replicable genetic associations with behavioral traits and remain predictive in regressions with stringent controls for stratification and in new within-family analyses.
The importance of gene-environment interactions in human obesity.
A growing body of evidence has provided a deeper understanding of GEI influencing obesity and may have tremendous applications in the emerging field of personalized medicine and individualized lifestyle recommendations.
Vulnerability or Sensitivity to the Environment? Methodological Issues, Trends, and Recommendations in Gene–Environment Interactions Research in Human Behavior
Recommendations for future research, such as minimum quality assessment of genes and environmental factors, specifying theoretical models guiding the study, and taking into account of cultural, ethnic, and lifetime perspectives, are formulated are formulated.
The genetic architecture of economic and political preferences
The results suggest that most published genetic association studies with economic and political traits are dramatically underpowered, which implies a high false discovery rate, and proposes some constructive responses to the inferential challenges posed by the small explanatory power of individual SNPs.
Social science genetics and fertility : Essays on the interplay between genes, social environment and human fertility
The central finding from this dissertation is that individual differences in fertility behaviour are associated with genetic differences: this implies ongoing natural selection in humans, however, it is also found that genetic variants associated with fertility can differ across countries and time.


A critical review of the first 10 years of candidate gene-by-environment interaction research in psychiatry.
Gene-by-environment interaction studies in psychiatry have typically been conducted using a candidate G×E (cG×E) approach, analogous to the candidate gene association approach used to test genetic main effects, yet cG–E findings remain controversial.
Spurious Genetic Associations
Strengthening the reporting of genetic association studies (STREGA): an extension of the STROBE Statement
The STREGA recommendations do not prescribe or dictate how a genetic association study should be designed but seek to enhance the transparency of its reporting, regardless of choices made during design, conduct, or analysis.
STrengthening the REporting of Genetic Association studies (STREGA) – an extension of the STROBE statement
The STREGA recommendations do not prescribe or dictate how a genetic association study should be designed, but seek to enhance the transparency of its reporting, regardless of choices made during design, conduct or analysis.
Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true.
Behav Genet
  • Behav Genet
  • 2012