The serotonin transporter promoter variant, stress, and attentional biases in middle childhood
Personality and Individual Differences
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Although evidence suggests that 5-HTTLPR variants may shape risk for depression, the influence is likely complex, and involves effects on endophenotypes. We examined associations between 5-HTTLPR and biases in attention to affective stimuli in a sample of girls and a sample of both boys and girls. Children with at least one short (S) variant of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism had lower positive attentional bias scores in both samples. This association was qualified by an interaction with stress in one sample, such that links between the S allele and decreased positive attentional bias was significant only when life stress was elevated. This difference in findings between the two samples was explained by sex differences in samples; the GXE interaction was significant only in boys. Findings are discussed in the context of sex differences in GXE.