Non-additive and Additive Genetic Effects on Extraversion in 3314 Dutch Adolescent Twins and Their Parents.

D.C. Rettew, I. Rebollo Mesa, J. Hudziak, G. Willemsen, D.I. Boomsma

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The influence of non-additive genetic influences on personality traits has been increasingly reported in adult populations. Less is known, however, with respect to younger samples. In this study, we examine additive and non-additive genetic contributions to the personality trait of extraversion in 1,689 Dutch twin pairs, 1,505 mothers and 1,637 fathers of the twins. The twins were on average 15.5 years (range 12-18 years). To increase statistical power to detect non-additive genetic influences, data on extraversion were also collected in parents and simultaneously analyzed. Genetic modeling procedures incorporating age as a potential modifier of heritability showed significant influences of additive (20-23%) and non-additive genetic factors (31-33%) in addition to unshared environment (46-48%) for adolescents and for their parents. The additive genetic component was slightly and positively related to age. No significant sex differences were found for either extraversion means or for the magnitude of the genetic and environmental influences. There was no evidence of non-random mating for extraversion in the parental generation. Results show that in addition to additive genetic influences, extraversion in adolescents is influenced by non-additive genetic factors. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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