- Testing systematic genotype by environment interactions using item level data
- Behavior genetics
- Volume | Issue number
- 44 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Investigating genotype by environment interactions (GxE) is generally considered challenging due to the scale dependency of the interaction effect. The present paper illustrates the problems associated with testing for GxEs on summed item scores within the well-known ACE model. That is, it is shown how genuine GxEs may be masked and how spurious interactions can arise from scaling issues in the data. A solution is proposed which explicitly distinguishes between a measurement model for the ordinal item responses and a biometric model in which the GxE effects are investigated. The new approach is studied in a simulation study using both a scenario in which the measurement instrument suffers from mild scaling problems and a scenario in which the measurement instrument suffers from severe scaling problems. Results indicate that the severity of the scale problems affects the power to detect GxE, but it rarely results in false positives. We illustrate the new approach on a real dataset concerning affect.
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