Genetic moderation of the effects of family-focused interventions (GxI interaction): A systematic review

Lijun Li, Jingchen Zhang, Jessica H Rudi, Abigail H. Gewirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gene by Intervention (GxI) interaction studies examine how a person's genotype may moderate (i.e., increase or decrease benefit from) an intervention's impact, typically in the context of randomized controlled trials. This systematic review examines genetic moderation effects for psychosocial and behavioral interventions that are family-based or school-/individual-based with family components. Differential susceptibility was the most widely used theory. All studies demonstrated significant GxI effects, but the large numbers of interventions and the fragmentary information provided by different genes limits the generalizability of conclusions. Future research should develop stronger biobehavioral theories, designs, and methodologie for studying genes in the family context. The GxI effects reviewed deepen our understanding of genetic moderation effects in intervention studies, provide implications for research by indicating who may benefit more from an intervention, and further guide efforts to personalize intervention programs to include elements to which people with certain genetic characteristics are more sensitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-711
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Family Theory and Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Dante Cicchetti for his advice and insightful reviews, Melisa Sturman for her comments and assistance, and Scott Marsalis for the technical assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 National Council for Family Relations.


  • differential susceptibility
  • family-focused intervention
  • gene
  • GxI interaction
  • psychosocial and behavioral


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