To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Co-twin comparisons address familial confounding by controlling for genetic and environmental influences that twin siblings share. We applied the co-twin comparison design to investigate associations of adolescent factors with alcohol dependence (AD) symptoms. Participants were 1286 individuals (581 complete twin pairs; 42% monozygotic; and 54% female) from the FinnTwin12 study. Predictors included adolescent academic achievement, substance use, externalizing problems, internalizing problems, executive functioning, peer environment, physical health, relationship with parents, alcohol expectancies, life events, and pubertal development. The outcome was lifetime AD clinical criterion count, as measured in young adulthood. We examined associations of each adolescent domain with AD symptoms in individual-level and co-twin comparison analyses. In individual-level analyses, adolescents with higher levels of substance use, teacher-reported externalizing problems at age 12, externalizing problems at age 14, self- and co-twin-reported internalizing problems, peer deviance, and perceived difficulty of life events reported more symptoms of AD in young adulthood (ps < .044). Conversely, individuals with higher academic achievement, social adjustment, self-rated health, and parent–child relationship quality met fewer AD clinical criteria (ps < .024). Associations between adolescent substance use, teacher-reported externalizing problems, co-twin-reported internalizing problems, peer deviance, self-rated health, and AD symptoms were of a similar magnitude in co-twin comparisons. We replicated many well-known adolescent correlates of later alcohol problems, including academic achievement, substance use, externalizing and internalizing problems, self-rated health, and features of the peer environment and parent–child relationship. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility of co-twin comparisons for understanding pathways to AD. Effect sizes corresponding to the associations between adolescent substance use, teacher-reported externalizing problems, co-twin-reported internalizing problems, peer deviance, and self-rated health were not significantly attenuated (p value threshold = .05) after controlling for genetic and environmental influences that twin siblings share, highlighting these factors as candidates for further research.
Data from 16-year-old Finnish twin pairs were used to estimate familial effects on religiosity and the modification of those effects by sex and residential region. The sample of 2265 twin boys and 2521 twin girls formed 779 monozygotic and 1614 dizygotic pairs, 785 of the same sex and 829 of opposite sex. We compared religiosity scores of twins living in more rural and traditional northern Finland with those living in the more urban and secular southern region. Girls had higher religiosity scores than did boys, and twins living in northern Finland had higher religiosity scores than those resident in southern Finland. Correlations for monozygotic twins were slightly higher than those for dizygotic twins, and covariance modeling found modest heritability of religiosity [11% (95% CI 0–24) for girls; 22% (95% CI 6–38) for boys], and substantial shared environmental effects [60% (95% CI 49–69) and 45% (95% CI 31–57)] among girls and boys, respectively. The correlation between shared environmental effects in boys and girls was estimated to be 0.84 (95% CI 0.73–0.99). In analyses distinguishing region of residence, girls living in southern Finland were found to have significantly higher unshared environmental effects than girls in northern Finland, while boys living in the urban south appeared to have lower shared environmental effects, and higher additive genetic effects, than boys living in the rural north.
In contrast to many phenotypes that have been studied using twin designs, substance use shows considerable evidence of environmental influence. Accordingly, specifying the relevant environments and understanding the nature of their effects is an important research priority. Twin studies also have demonstrated that the importance of genetic and environmental influences varies across development for a variety of behavioral outcomes, including substance use. Here, we report analyses exploring moderating effects associated with parenting and peer characteristics on adolescent smoking and drinking, measured at ages 14 and 17. We find significant evidence of moderating effects associated with two dimensions of parenting (parental monitoring and time spent in activities with parents) on adolescent smoking, measured at two time points across development, but no moderating effects on adolescent drinking. Genetic influences on smoking increased, and common environmental effects decreased, as adolescents reported less parental monitoring and spending more time with their parents. Conversely, we find evidence that adolescent drinking is more strongly influenced by peer characteristics. The importance of genetic predispositions was increased among adolescents who reported more friends who used alcohol. These analyses illustrate the importance of incorporating measured aspects of the environment into genetically informative twin models to begin to understand how specific environments are related to various outcomes. Furthermore, they illustrate the importance of using a developmental perspective to understand how specific influences may vary across different ages, and across different phenotypes.
We enrolled more than 3500 same-sex twins from 5 consecutive Finnish birth cohorts into a longitudinal study as each cohort reached age 16. Twins completed the Psychopathic Deviate (Pd) Scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory at baseline, Sensation Seeking Scale items as each cohort reached age 17, and later, at average ages 18.5 and 25, the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAPI). Using raw maximum likelihood estimation, we fit a Cholesky model to the 4 variables assessed at 4 ages across the 4 twin types; we estimated genetic and environmental influences on the stability of alcohol problems across development and the genetic and environmental contributions to predictive correlations between adolescent personality and later alcohol-related behavior problems. With one exception, the phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations were very similar for males and females. The exception was that the lagged associations of Pd and RAPI reflect a higher genetic correlation among males than females and a higher environmental correlation among females than males. Our analyses suggest that developmental changes underlying variation in alcohol problems from late adolescence to early adulthood differ for males and females. In males, the main change is decreased variation due to shared environmental effects; the magnitude of genetic effects is stable over time, and the high genetic correlation, .95, suggests that the same genetic influences are important at both ages. Among females, in contrast, genetic influences decline in magnitude from age 18 to 25, and at least part of the genetic effect evident at age 25 differs from the genetic effect evident at age 18.
Probably the most robust sex difference in cognitive abilities is that on average males outperform females in tests of mental rotation. Using twin data we tested whether there are sex differences in the magnitude of genetic and environmental effects on mental rotation test performance and whether the same or different genetic effects operate in females and males. The present study replicated the well-known male advantage in mental rotation ability. The relative proportion of variance explained by genetic effects did not differ between females and males, but interestingly, absolute additive genetic and unique environmental variances were greater in males reflecting significantly greater phenotypic variance in mental rotation test performance in males. Over half of the variance in mental rotation test performance was explained by genetic effects, which suggest that mental rotation ability is a good phenotype for studies finding genes underlying spatial abilities. Results indicate that females and males could be combined for such genetic studies, because the same genetic effects affected mental rotation test performance in females and males.
Sex differences in the heritability of self-reported body-height in two Finnish twin cohorts were studied by using sex-limitation models. The first cohort was born in 1938–1949 (N = 4873 twin pairs) and the second in 1975–1979 (N = 2374 twin pairs). Body-height was greater in the younger cohort (difference of 3.1 cm for men and 2.9 cm for women). The heritability estimates were higher among men (h2 = 0.87 in the older cohort and h2 = 0.82 in the younger cohort) than women (h2 = 0.78 and h2 = 0.67, respectively). Sex-specific genetic factors were not statistically significant in either cohort, suggesting that the same genes contribute to variation in body height for both men and women. The stronger contribution of environmental factors to body-height among women questions the hypothesis that women are better buffered against environmental stress, at least for this phenotype.
Mealey's sociopathy model is an exemplar of popular diathesis-stress models. Although such models, when presented in descriptive language, offer the illusion of integrative explanation, their actual scientific value is very limited because they fail to make specific, quantitative, falsifiable predictions. Conceptual and quantitative weaknesses of such diathesis-stress models are discussed and the requirements for useful models are outlined.
We analysed genetic and environmental influences on self-esteem and its stability in adolescence.
Finnish twins born in 1983–1987 were assessed by questionnaire at ages 14 (n=4132 twin individuals) and 17 years (n=3841 twin individuals). Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg global self-esteem scale and analyzed using quantitative genetic methods for twin data in the Mx statistical package.
The heritability of self-esteem was 0·62 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0·56–0·68] in 14-year-old boys and 0·40 (95% CI 0·26–0·54) in 14-year-old girls, while the corresponding estimates at age 17 were 0·48 (95% CI 0·39–0·56) and 0·29 (95% CI 0·11–0·45). Rosenberg self-esteem scores at ages 14 and 17 were modestly correlated (r=0·44 in boys, r=0·46 in girls). In boys, the correlation was mainly (82%) due to genetic factors, with residual co-variation due to unique environment. In girls, genetic (31%) and common environmental (61%) factors largely explained the correlation.
In adolescence, self-esteem seems to be differently regulated in boys versus girls. A key challenge for future research is to identify environmental influences contributing to self-esteem during adolescence and determine how these factors interact with genetic influences.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.