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Nature, Nurture, and the Transition to Early
                        Adolescence$
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Stephen A. Petrill, Robert Plomin, John C. DeFries, and John K. Hewitt

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195157475

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157475.001.0001

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Genetic Influences on Temperament in Early Adolescence

Genetic Influences on Temperament in Early Adolescence

A Multimethod Perspective

Chapter:
(p.166) 11 Genetic Influences on Temperament in Early Adolescence
Source:
Nature, Nurture, and the Transition to Early Adolescence
Author(s):

Jeffrey R. Gagne

Kimberly J. Saudino

Stacey S. Cherny

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157475.003.0011

Although twin studies of infant and child temperament consistently yield evidence of moderate genetic influences, adoption studies do not. For example, in the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP), genetically related non-adoptive siblings were no more similar for parent-rated temperament than genetically unrelated adoptive siblings. However, most twin and adoption research exploring genetic factors underlying temperament during infancy and early childhood has relied on parent-rating scales, which may be susceptible to contrast effects wherein the differences between siblings may be exaggerated. Because contrast effects reduce the similarity of non-adoptive and adoptive siblings, adoption studies that use parent-rating measures may underestimate heritability. This chapter investigates changes in heritability across age and examines genetic and environmental factors underlying continuity and change in temperament during early adolescence in the CAP. To date, most of the research on continuity and change in temperament has focused on infancy and early childhood and suggests that genetic influences remain stable or increase with age. This study tested whether the patterns would hold true for a sample of early adolescents.

Keywords:   Colorado Adoption Project, temperament, genetic factors, heritability, environmental factors, early adolescence, adolescents, adoptive siblings, non-adoptive siblings

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