MEB Seminar: Professor Thalia Eley
Title: Gene-environment correlation in the development of anxiety and depression
Speaker: Thalia Eley is Professor of Developmental Behavioural Genetics at King's College London
Abstract: Disorders such as anxiety and depression, and the traits associated with them are known to run in families. Twin studies have demonstrated that this occurs due to the influence of both genetic and environmental influences. One important element of the environment associated with child anxiety and depression is parenting, traditionally considered within the developmental psychology literature as an environmental risk factor. However, such associations are complicated by the fact that parents usually provide both genes and the rearing environment to their children. The presence of such gene-environment correlations requires careful thought with respect to study design. In this talk I will present findings from both child twin samples and children of twin samples, and show how these are shedding light on questions regarding direction of effects between parents and their children, and on the origins of intergenerational transmission of anxiety and depression.