By Hao Zheng & Paul J. Rathouz
For quantitative behavior genetic (e.g., twin) studies, Purcell proposed a novel model for testing gene-by-measured environment (GxM) interactions while accounting for gene-by-environment correlation. Rathouz et al. expanded this model into a broader class of non-linear biometric models for quantifying and testing such interactions. In this work, we propose a novel factorization of the likelihood for this class of models, and adopt numerical integration techniques to achieve model estimation, especially for those without close-form likelihood. The validity of our procedures is established through numerical simulation studies. The new procedures are illustrated in a twin study analysis of the moderating effect of birth weight on the genetic influences on childhood anxiety. A second example is given in an online appendix. Both the extant GxM models and the new non-linear models critically assume normality of all structural components, which implies continuous, but not normal, manifest response variables.