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Genetic Variance and Heritability of Temperament Among Chinese Twin Infants

  • C.J. Chen (a1), M.W. Yu (a1), C.J. Wang (a1), S.L. Tong (a1), M. Tien (a1), T.Y. Lee (a2), H.C. Lue (a2), F.Y. Huang (a3), C.C. Lan (a3), K.H. Yang (a4), H.C. Wang (a4), H.Y. Shih (a5), C.Y. Liu (a5) and J.S. Chen (a2)...

Abstract

In order to examine the genetic variance and heritability of temperament among Chinese infants in Taiwan, a total of 62 pairs of same-sexed twin infants given birth in four major general teaching hospitals in Taipei City were studied. Based on placentation and 12 red blood cell antigens, 44 MZ and 18 DZ pairs were identified. Temperament was assessed at the age of six months by the Chinese edition of Carey's Temperament scale. Significant genetic variance was observed for activity level, approach or withdrawal, intensity of reaction, quality of mood, and threshold of responsiveness, with a heritability of 0.64, 0.56, 0.74, 0.39, and 0.45, respectively. There was no significant intrapair difference in temperamental characteristics between monochorionic and dichorionic MZ twins.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Institute of Public Health, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, 1 Jen-Ai Rd. Sec. 1, Taipei 10018, Taiwan, Republic of China

References

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1. Carey, WB (1970): A simplified method for measuring infant temperament. J Pediatr 77:188.
2. Chen, CJ, Lin, TM, Chang, C, et al (1987): Epidemiological characteristics of twinning rates in Taiwan. Acta Genet Med Gemellol 36:335.
3. Chen, CJ, Yu, MW, Wang, CJ, Tong, SL, Tien, M et al (1990): Chronological changes in genetic variance and heritability of anthropometric characteristics among Chinese twin infants. Acta Genet Med Gemellol 39:479484
4. Christian, JC (1979): Testing twin means and estimating genetic variance: Basic methodology for the analysis of quantitative twin data. Acta Genet Med Gemellol 28:35.
5. Falconer, DS (1960): Quantitative Genetics. New York: Ronald.
6. Haseman, JK, Elston, RC (1970): The estimation of genetic veriance from twin data. Behav Genet 1:11.
7. Kempthorne, O, Osborne, RH (1961): The interpretation of twin data. Am J Hum Genet 13:320.
8. Riese, ML (1990): Genetic influences on neonatal temperament. Acta Genet Med Gemellol 39:207.

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