The importance of shared environment in infant-father attachment: A behavioral genetic study of the Attachment Q-Sort

M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.H. van IJzendoorn, C.L. Bokhorst, C. Schuengel

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Abstract

In this first behavior genetic study on infant-father attachment, we estimated genetic and environmental influences on infant-father attachment behaviors and on temperamental dependency, both assessed with the Attachment Q-Sort (AQS; B. E.Vaughn & E. Waters, 1990; E. Waters, 1995). Mothers of mono- and dizygotic twins (N = 56 pairs) sorted the AQS with a focus on the infant's behaviors in the presence of the father. Genetic modeling showed that attachment was largely explained by shared environmental (59%) and unique environmental (41%) factors. For dependency, genetic factors explained 66% of the variance, and unique environmental factors including measurement error explained 34%. Attachment to father appears to be, to a significant degree, a function of the environment that twins share.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-549
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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