Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Environment, not genes, key in family relationships

14.09.2005


Nature or nurture? It’s the eternal question for so many human interactions and personality traits. Now, it appears, nature may play a larger role than nurture when it comes to family relationships between adolescents and their parents.



Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and George Washington University in Washington, D.C., used data on 674 families, each with a same-sex adolescent pair, to evaluate the factors that made up the relationships and individual personalities.

They broke down adolescent/parent relationships into nine variables – six measuring adolescent adjustment and three assessing family relationships, and then further divided them into genetic and environmental components to explore the connections between them.


The adolescent variables were antisocial behavior, autonomy, classroom engagement and success, depressive symptoms, sociability, and social responsibility. The family relationship variables were positivity (parent/child warmth and support), negativity (parent-child coercion and conflict) and parental monitoring and control. All variables were measured from multiple perspectives: the adolescent’s, the mother’s, the father’s, and in some cases, observers’ ratings of videotaped family interactions.

Because the data the researchers were using came from sibling pairs of varying degrees of genetic relatedness, ranging from identical twins to genetically unrelated children in families formed by remarriages, the researchers were able to identify those traits that had a greater correlation with environmental components and those that related more to a genetic background.

The researchers completed a factor analysis of the data, finding three factors to explain the nine attributes:

  • Overall good or poor adjustment. This explained positivity or negativity in family relationships, social responsibility, antisocial behavior, and depressive symptoms.
  • Independence and peer relationships. This related to autonomy and sociability.
  • Parental monitoring and control.

"Our results are consistent with the notion that there are distinct gene-based systems lying within and helping to shape family interaction systems," said lead author John C. Loehlin, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the University of Texas-Austin’s psychology department. "But direct evidence of this and of the details of such a process must await appropriate longitudinal studies."

"While these findings in themselves have no immediate practical implication," he continued. "But they should help guide future research into the important question of how children’s genes help shape family interaction systems."

Andrea Browning | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>