Gene-Environment Interaction

However, the main issue is that most studies show that the development of depression is mainly due to a gene-environment interaction. For example, the results from a twin study about the transmission of parental depression on their children showed that depression is hereditary but environmental factors triggers the onset of the disorder (Silberg, Maes & Eaves 2010). A study by Eley et al. (2004) also showed that individuals with genetic variations in the 5-HTTLPR region has a greater chance of developing depression when they are exposed to environmental risks such as life stresses. There is also a study, which shows that 5-HTTLPR, alone or with interaction to environmental factors such as stresses, does not show any association with the acquisition of depression; therefore, further studies should be made with regards to this topic (Risch et al. 2009).
Figure 9. Genes vs. Environment

Further Studies

Overall, genetics play a very big role in the development of depression as evidenced by various hereditary and scientific studies; but we can never remove the fact that environmental influences have a big impact as well. Actually, the interaction of these two factors is the most critical factor that we need to look upon in the development of depression; therefore, further studies about this interaction should be done to find solutions on how to decrease the cases of depression, especially among young adults.
Figure 10. Gene-Environment Interaction

[Back to Home Page]