Engagement in externalizing behavior is problematic. Deviant peer affiliation increases risk for externalizing behavior. Yet, peer effects vary across individuals and may differ across genes. This study determines gene × environment × development interactions as they apply to externalizing behavior from childhood to adulthood. A sample (n = 687; 68% male, 90% White) of youth from the Michigan Longitudinal Study was assessed from ages 10 to 25. Interactions between γ-amino butyric acid type A receptor γ1 subunit (GABRG1; rs7683876, rs13120165) and maladaptive peer behavior on externalizing behavior were examined using time-varying effect modeling. The findings indicate a sequential risk gradient in the influence of maladaptive peer behavior on externalizing behavior depending on the number of G alleles during childhood through adulthood. Individuals with the GG genotype are most vulnerable to maladaptive peer influences, which results in greater externalizing behavior during late childhood through early adulthood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)