How do Genes Affect Child Development?


Nature vs. nurture has been an eternal debate between genetic predisposition to behaviors versus how parents, communities, or other key individuals shape a child’s upbringing. Genes don’t just play a role in determining appearance and behavior. They can also affect a child’s development.

Nature vs. Nurture in Childhood Development

This simply means that children turn out to be the way that they are either because of their DNA or the life experiences and physical quarters that surround them as they grow. This can include the homes where they are raised, the cities that they live in, the schools they go to, and even the extracurricular activities in which they participate.


It goes without saying that nature vs. nurture becomes tricky when it comes to adopted children. Because their adopted parents do not share the same genes as them, it may be safe to assume that they are the product of their environment. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true as they may choose to rebel because they don’t feel comfortable or like they fit into the family because of genetics.

Genetic vs. Environmental Expression

Genes are expressed either genetically or environmentally. The dominant gene determines traits such as hair and eye color. Environmental interactions explain why drug abuse during pregnancy may affect a child’s health and development. Poor nutrition and chronic illness also explain why a child may not grow to his or her height potential despite having tall parents and/or siblings.

Now that you know how genes affect child development, you’ll be able to plan accordingly for the changes your child experiences as they grow. You’ll be able to control many of their environmental reactions by simply refraining from harmful behavior and helping children eat healthily, exercise, and remain well by taking them to regular check-ups with a pediatrician.

Test Smartly Labs provides confidential and accurate DNA tests. To learn more about our DNA Testing Services, contact Test Smartly Labs today at (816) 800-9699. We have five lab locations in the greater Kansas City area!

LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with our specials and announcements! 

Test Smartly Labs

Test Smartly Labs of Independence 

Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City

Test Smartly Labs of Lee’s Summit

Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park

Speak Your Mind