Genes, childhood trauma, and late life depressive symptoms

TitleGenes, childhood trauma, and late life depressive symptoms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsDas, A
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
ISSN Number1552-6887
KeywordsChildhood adversity, Depressive symptoms, Genetics, Late-life Health

Findings on gene-environment correlations suggest childhood "environments" may reflect genetic liabilities. The independent psychosocial influence of childhood trauma is unclear. This study examined such effects on adulthood depressive symptoms. Data were from the Health and Retirement Study. Trauma items included childhood physical abuse and parental substance abuse. Multinomial logit models examined genetic effects on stable and unstable reports. Linear growth models tested associations of stable trauma responses, genes, and their interaction with current depressive symptoms. Genetic risk predicted both stable and unstable trauma reports. With genes controlled, stable responses were associated with life course variations but not late life change in depression. The exception was women's physical abuse, which moderated genetic effects but had no independent influence. Apparent gene-trauma correlations may be driven by flawed retrospective reports. Research is needed to distinguish true from artifactual genetic effects on other environmental factors and establish psychosocial implications.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalJ Aging Health
Citation Key10132
PubMed ID31288597