Genetic Epidemiology, Translational Neurogenomics, Psychiatric Genetics and Statistical Genetics Laboratories investigate the pattern of disease in families, particularly identical and non-identical twins, to assess the relative importance of genes and environment in a variety of important health problems.
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PMID
7991740
TITLE
Parental treatment and the equal environment assumption in twin studies of psychiatric illness.
ABSTRACT
The validity of the twin method depends on the equal environment assumption (EEA)--that monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins are equally correlated in their exposure to environmental factors of aetiological importance for the trait under study. Parents may treat MZ twins more similarly than DZ twins thereby potentially violating the EEA. We tested this hypothesis for four common psychiatric disorders (major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, phobia, and alcoholism) in a population-based sample of female-female twin pairs where analyses indicate sufficient statistical power meaningfully to test the EEA. Mother's and father's beliefs about their twins' zygosity disagreed with assigned zygosity in approximately 20% of cases, often because of what they were told about their twins' zygosity at their birth. By structural equation model-fitting, we found no evidence that mother's or father's perceived zygosity influenced twin resemblance for any of the disorders. Compared to parents of DZ twins, parents of MZ twins were more likely to report that, in rearing their twins, they emphasized their similarities more than their differences. However, by model-fitting, mothers' and fathers' approach to raising twins had no significant influence on twin resemblance for the four examined psychiatric disorders. These results suggest that the differential treatment of MZ and DZ twins by their parents is unlikely to represent a significant bias in twin studies of these major psychiatric disorders.
DATE PUBLISHED
1994 Aug
HISTORY
PUBSTATUS PUBSTATUSDATE
pubmed 1994/08/01
medline 1994/08/01 00:01
entrez 1994/08/01 00:00
AUTHORS
NAME COLLECTIVENAME LASTNAME FORENAME INITIALS AFFILIATION AFFILIATIONINFO
Kendler KS Kendler K S KS Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.
Neale MC Neale M C MC
Kessler RC Kessler R C RC
Heath AC Heath A C AC
Eaves LJ Eaves L J LJ
INVESTIGATORS
JOURNAL
VOLUME: 24
ISSUE: 3
TITLE: Psychological medicine
ISOABBREVIATION: Psychol Med
YEAR: 1994
MONTH: Aug
DAY:
MEDLINEDATE:
SEASON:
CITEDMEDIUM: Print
ISSN: 0033-2917
ISSNTYPE: Print
MEDLINE JOURNAL
MEDLINETA: Psychol Med
COUNTRY: England
ISSNLINKING: 0033-2917
NLMUNIQUEID: 1254142
PUBLICATION TYPE
PUBLICATIONTYPE TEXT
Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Twin Study
COMMENTS AND CORRECTIONS
GRANTS
GRANTID AGENCY COUNTRY
AA-09095 NIAAA NIH HHS United States
HD-26746 NICHD NIH HHS United States
MH-40828 NIMH NIH HHS United States
GENERAL NOTE
KEYWORDS
MESH HEADINGS
DESCRIPTORNAME QUALIFIERNAME
Adult
Aged
Alcoholism psychology
Anxiety Disorders psychology
Bias psychology
Child psychology
Child Rearing psychology
Depressive Disorder psychology
Diseases in Twins psychology
Female psychology
Humans psychology
Male psychology
Middle Aged psychology
Parenting psychology
Phenotype psychology
Phobic Disorders psychology
Risk Factors psychology
Social Environment psychology
Twins, Dizygotic psychology
Twins, Monozygotic psychology
SUPPLEMENTARY MESH
GENE SYMBOLS
CHEMICALS
OTHER ID's