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Shanahan, Michael J. & Hofer, Scott M. (2011). Molecular Genetics, Aging, and Well-Being: Sensitive Period, Accumulation, and Pathway Models.. Binstock Robert H. & George, Linda K. (Eds.) (pp. 135-147). San Diego: Academic Press.


This chapter discusses how several molecular genetic mechanisms—involving candidate genes, epigenetics, and transcription—likely interact with social experiences over many decades of life to predict health, broadly defined. Sensitive period, accumulation, and pathway models, as formulated by life course sociology, are reviewed and considered with reference to empirical studies of these genetic mechanisms. This discussion highlights the important but neglected issue of environmental specificity, whether specific social experiences are necessary or substitutable precursors to specific behaviors, in gene-environment processes.


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Shanahan, Michael J.
Hofer, Scott M.