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Genetic and environmental influences on parent-son relationships: evidence for increasing genetic influence during adolescence.

Authors
  • Elkins, I J
  • McGue, M
  • Iacono, W G
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental psychology
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1997
Volume
33
Issue
2
Pages
351–363
Identifiers
PMID: 9147842
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Genetic and environmental influences on self-reported parent-child relationships were examined in a sample of 824 individual male twins and their parents. Cross-sectional comparisons of twin similarity at ages 11 and 17 were undertaken to identify developmental changes in the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to family relationships. Significant genetic influences were found on perceptions of parent-son conflict, regard, involvement, and overall support. Heritabilities were significantly higher in older twins, suggesting increased genetic influence with age. Age differences were present primarily in the father-son relationship. These results provide support for the proposal of S. Scarr and K. McCartney (1983) that the importance of active gene-environment correlations increases during adolescence. Older adolescents may have more choice and impact on the nature of the relationships they have with their parents.

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