04:42am Saturday 14 December 2019

Perspectives on Improving Patient Care: Genetics, Personalized Medicine, and Behavioral Intervention

The current issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, combines nine stimulating articles in the first systematic effort to survey the possibilities of genetics research, personalized medicine, and behavioral intervention. 

“Personalized medicine is being seen by many as the future of clinical treatment,” says Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director of the Association for Psychological Science. “The articles in this special issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science identify several important areas of focus that must be considered by researchers, patients, and clinicians as the field advances.” 

Initiated by the Division of Behavioral and Social Research of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), this special issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science addresses the current opinion about the importance of genetically informed research designs in determining the precise targets, timing, and mechanisms of behavioral interventions. 

“The intersection of behavior and genetics provides exciting research possibilities,” said Richard Suzman, Ph.D., director of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research. “If we can determine the extent to which we can tailor behavioral treatments to the unique genetic characteristics of an individual, then we will be on our way to the era of personalized medicine for a variety of conditions.” 

Articles in this issue include: 

Development, Social Relationships and Genetics: Appraising Apposition and Integration 

Genetic Thinking in the Study of Social Relationships: Five Points of Entry – David Reiss

Refining Intervention Targets in Family-Based Research – Leslie D. Leve, Gordon T. Harold, Xiaojia Ge, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, and Gerald Patterson 

Genetic Tools for Causal Inference in Social Theory and Behavioral Intervention

Mendelian Randomization for Strengthening Causal Inference in Observational Studies: Application to Gene × Environment Interactions – George Davey Smith 

Causal Inference and Observational Research: The Utility of Twins – Matt McGue, Merete Osler, and Kaare Christensen 

Genetics and Intervention Research – Robert Plomin and Claire M.A. Haworth 

Targeting Behavioral Intervention and Understanding its Impact: Econometric and Genetic Models 

Early Adversity and Developmental Outcomes: Interaction Between Genetics, Epigenetics, and Social Experiences Across the Lifespan – Frances A. Champagne 

Heterogeneity of Physical Function Responses to Exercise in Older Adults: Possible Contribution of Variation in the Angiotensin-1 Converting Enzyme (ACE) Gene? – Barbara J. Nicklas 

Understanding the Early Origins of the Education–Health Gradient: A Framework That Can Also Be Applied to Analyze Gene–Environment Interaction – Gabriella Conti and James J. Heckman 

Contemporary Modeling of Gene × Environment Effects in Randomized Multivariate Longitudinal Studies – John J. McArdle and Carol A. Prescott


The NIA is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It leads the Federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. For more information on research and aging, go to www.nia.nih.gov.


Perspectives on Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information. It publishes an eclectic mix of thought-provoking articles on the latest important advances in psychology. For a copy of the article “Special Issue: Genetics, Personalized Medicine, and Behavioral Intervention—Can This Combination Improve Patient Care?” and access to other Perspectives on Psychological Science research findings, please contact Keri Chiodo at 202-293-9300 or kchiodo@psychologicalscience.org.

Contact: Keri Chiodo
Association for Psychological Science

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