1932

Abstract

Polygenic scores offer developmental psychologists new methods for integrating genetic information into research on how people change and develop across the life span. Indeed, polygenic scores have correlations with developmental outcomes that rival correlations with traditional developmental psychology variables, such as family income. Yet linking people's genetics with differences between them in socially valued developmental outcomes, such as educational attainment, has historically been used to justify acts of state-sponsored violence. In this review, we emphasize that an interdisciplinary understanding of the environmental and structural determinants of social inequality, in conjunction with a transactional developmental perspective on how people interact with their environments, is critical to interpreting associations between polygenic measures and phenotypes. While there is a risk of misuse, early applications of polygenic scores to developmental psychology have already provided novel findings that identify environmental mechanisms of life course processes that can be used to diagnose inequalities in social opportunity.

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2020-12-15
2024-06-22
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