This book has analyzed data from the Colorado Adoption Project to determine the genetic and environment influences on several key aspects of adolescent development. This concluding chapter highlights some of the major findings and their implications for our understanding of development during the transition to early adolescence. In the past, behavioral genetic results typically have been interpreted in terms of “how much” genes and environments impact outcomes. More recently, the focus has shifted to applying behavioral genetic methods to address theoretically meaningful questions in developmental psychology — to better understand the genetic architecture of development as well as the central role of the environment and gene-environment processes. Early adolescence is a time of immense average growth, and is a developmental period where individual differences are also important. Behavioral genetic methods examine how genes and environments shape the developmental trajectory of these individual differences. This chapter presents quantitative genetic analyses in four substantive domains: cognitive ability and achievement, adjustment and behavior problems, mood and temperament, and the environment.
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