Gene–neighborhood interactions in educational attainment


Mills, Melinda; Barban, Nicola; & Tropf, Felix (2018). Gene–neighborhood interactions in educational attainment. Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America. Denver, CO.


This paper investigates if neighborhood characteristics such as unemployment and poverty level, proportion of adults with college education and median household income mitigate the genetic predisposition to higher educational attainment. Using polygenic score (PGS) calculated from genome-wide data included in the Add-Health study (N=9,926), we test interaction effects of neighborhood characteristics at Wave I (during childhood) with genetic predisposition for educational attainment and their effect on final educational at- tainment measured in Wave IV (young adulthood). Our preliminary results show that polygenic score has no predictive value in a deprived context, while it is strongly associated with education in more affluent neighborhoods. We further examine the role of parental expectations as a proxy of parental investment as a possible mechanism.



genetics neighborhood education

Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America

Series Title

Gene–environment interplay in population health


Mills, Melinda
Barban, Nicola
Tropf, Felix

Year Published


City of Publication

Denver, CO

Reference ID