We analyzed how the effects of genetic and environmental factors on the perceptions of family interaction change from early to late adolescence. The data were collected by postal surveys on Finnish twins (N = 4808) at 12, 14 and 17 years of age and analyzed using genetic twin modeling. Additive genetic factors explained a modest share of the variation in perceived relational support (a2 = 0.30 in boys and 0.18 in girls) and relational tensions (a2 = 0.13 and 0.14, respectively) at 12 years of age, with the proportions becoming larger through 17 years of age (a2 = 0.53 in boys and 0.49 in girls for relational support; a2 = 0.35 in boys and 0.33 in girls for relational tensions). Simultaneously, the role of environment shared by co-twins decreased. These findings suggest that the associations between perceived family interaction and other factors in adulthood should be interpreted with caution, because they partly reflect genetic background, whereas in childhood, they may provide more reliable information on parental characteristics.
- Family interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics