Virtually all aspects of human development are subject to both genetic (i.e., heritable) and environmental influences that conjointly shape developmental outcomes through various mechanisms of gene–environment interplay. This special issue presents new research examining how the peer environment works together with genetic factors to influence children’s and adolescents’ social development. To this end, three studies utilize a quantitative genetic approach, whereas two others use molecular genetic methodologies. Covering a wide age range from early childhood to early adulthood, the studies examine different processes of gene–environment correlation and gene–environment interaction while focusing on dyadic and group-based peer experiences (e.g., friendships, peer acceptance, and peer victimization) as well as on positive and negative aspects of social development (e.g., prosocial leadership and aggression). Overall, the findings from the studies in this special issue clearly illustrate that we need to consider how genetics and the peer environment effects work together if we are to gain a more complete picture of children’s and adolescents’ social development.
"Introduction to the Special Issue: The Interplay Between Genetic Factors and the Peer Environment in Explaining Children's Social Adjustment,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 60
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol60/iss2/2