FKBP5 moderation of depressive symptoms in peer victimized, post-institutionalized children

Adrienne A. VanZomeren-Dohm, Clio E. Pitula, Kalsea J. Koss, Kathleen Thomas, Megan R. Gunnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine whether FKBP5 rs1360780 moderates relations between different forms of life stress/adversity (early institutional rearing and peer victimization) and depressive symptoms in adolescents. As reported previously, PI youth were at risk for being victimized by peers. Here, victimization was associated with elevated depressive symptoms. While FKBP5 did not moderate the association between early life adversity and depressive symptoms for either sex, it moderated the association between current adversity and depressive symptoms for victimized girls carrying the minor allele. Consistent with a differential susceptibility model, girls with the minor allele exhibited more depressive symptoms at higher levels of victimization, but fewer depressive symptoms at lower levels of victimization. Interestingly, boys with the CC genotype had higher rates of depressive symptoms compared to girls with the CC genotype in the context of heightened victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-430
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by National Institute of Health grants P50-MH079513 (M. Gunnar and K. Thomas) and MH078105 (M. Gunnar). A. VanZomeren-Dohm is supported by a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. C. Pitula is supported by a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Support was provided during the preparation of this manuscript to K. Koss by a National Institute of Mental Health training grant ( T32-MH015755 ). Thanks to B.J. Casey and Charles Glatt for their comments during preparation of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Adolescents
  • Adoption
  • Depressive symptoms
  • FKBP5
  • Orphanage
  • Peer victimization


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