UW Longitudinal Gene-Environment Study

This study followed approximately 200 kindergarten-aged children (~5 years old) with and without behavioral problems (e.g., ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder) from 2016 to 2020. The primary purpose of the study was to examine how neurobiological (i.e., temperament, genetics) and environmental factors independently and jointly influence variation in early childhood self-control and reward sensitivity, two key constructs within the NIMH Research Domains Criteria (RDoC). Self-control and reward sensitivity are highly heritable, multifactorial constructs with cross-cutting associations to externalizing disorders, such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Yet, not all children with impairments in these traits develop externalizing problems. The study utilized a developmental psychopathology framework to examine the neurobiological and environmental factors that underlie these traits, and to determine how variation across these factors may uniquely “set the stage” for behavioral development. We also developed an ecological momentary assessment tool (i.e., Mobile Survey of Parent-Child Dynamics; MSPCD) to measure daily variations in parent-child dynamics (see image below, from Li & Lansford, 2018).



Representative articles: