Genetic and Environmental Influences on Temperament in the First Year of Life: The Puerto Rico Infant Twin Study (PRINTS)
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 February 2012
Three dimensions of temperament — difficult temperament, unadaptablility and unsociability — were assessed in the first year of life by maternal interview in twins born in Puerto Rico during 2001 and 2002. Eight hundred and sixty-five eligible mothers (80%) were traced and interviewed. Model- fitting results showed that additive genetic factors and the individual specific environment contributed to variation in all three dimensions. In addition, the pattern of variances and correlations suggested that sibling contrast effects influence ratings of difficult temperament. Moderate effects of the shared environment contributed to ratings of adaptability and sociability. There was a significant genetic correlation between difficult temperament and unadaptability. Genetic and environmental effects do not differ significantly between boys and girls. The study is the first population-based study of Puerto Rican twins and one of few to attempt the assessment of behavior in the first year. Preliminary results for difficult temperament and sociability were consistent with those in other populations and ages. In contrast, a significant effect of the shared environment on the temperamental trait of unadaptability has not been reported previously.
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