Defining the Environment in Gene–Environment Research: Lessons From Social Epidemiology Journal Article uri icon



  • In this article, we make the case that social epidemiology provides a useful framework to define the environment within gene–environment (G×E) research. We describe the environment in a multilevel, multidomain, longitudinal framework that accounts for upstream processes influencing health outcomes. We then illustrate the utility of this approach by describing how intermediate levels of social organization, such as neighborhoods or schools, are key environmental components of G×E research. We discuss different models of G×E research and encourage public health researchers to consider the value of including genetic information from their study participants. We also encourage researchers interested in G×E interplay to consider the merits of the social epidemiology model when defining the environment.

publication date

  • October 1, 2013

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • November 10, 2015 12:01 PM

Full Author List

  • Boardman JD; Daw J; Freese J

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-0036

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1541-0048

Additional Document Info

start page

  • S64

end page

  • S72


  • 103


  • S1