nature versus nature (again)

It is an eternal question, especially for the adoptees among us. This Colorado study tries to shed some light:

Genotype-environment correlations in late childhood and early adolescence : Antisocial behavioral problems and coercive parenting

A key question for understanding the interplay between nature and nurture in development is the direction of effects in socialization. A longitudinal adoption design provides a unique opportunity to investigate this issue in terms of genotype-environment correlations for behavioral problems. As part of the Colorado Adoption Project, adopted children were classified as being at genetic risk (N = 38) or not at genetic risk (N = 50) for antisocial behavior based on their biological mothers' self-report history of antisocial behavior collected prior to the birth of the child. From age 7 through age 12, adoptive parents reported on the negative control, positive parenting, and inconsistent parenting they use in managing their child's behavior. Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated that children at genetic risk were consistently more likely to receive negative parenting from their adoptive parents than children not at genetic risk, indicating an evocative genotype-environment correlation. However, the findings also showed that most of the association between negative parenting and children's externalizing behavior was not explicable on the basis of an evocative gene-environment correlation and that an additional environmentally mediated parental effect on children's behavior was plausible.


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