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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The role of gene and environment interplay in the interaction of family subsystems
by Ulbricht, Jennifer A., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2010, 77; 3372747
Abstract (Summary)

While several studies have examined family process influence on various individual outcome measures, missing from the literature are examinations of how family subsystems may moderate the genetic or environmental influences on other family subsystems. The current paper addresses this gap in the literature by examining whether the marital relationship moderates genetic and environmental contributions to the parent-child relationship. Data for this study were from the initial wave of the Nonshared Environment in Adolescent Development study (NEAD), and included 720 families with same-sex sibling pairs, ages 10-18 years. A range of family types was sampled, with 93 MZ, 99 DZ twin pairs, and 95 sibling pairs from non-divorced families and 182 sibling, 109 half-sibling, and 130 unrelated sibling pairs from stepfamilies. Composite measures of marriage and parenting were generated from self-reports, child reports and observer-rated taped dyadic interactions. Analyses indicate that the contributions of genetic and/or environmental factors to parenting change with levels of marital quality. Findings differed slightly for mothers and fathers and for measures of marital conflict about the child and global marital satisfaction. Results indicate that the marital relationship is an important contextual determinant for parenting and that marital quality influences the degree to which child-based genetic and environmental factors contribute to parenting. Included in the Appendices are: (I) A table of expectations for genetic and environmental influences on parenting, given different study designs; (II) Univariate behavioral genetic analyses of study variables; (III) General description of the pattern of results; (IV) Estimates of unstandardized and standardized variance components in negative parent-child relationships and marital moderating variables.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ganiban, Jody M., Neiderhiser, Jenae M.
Commitee: Haddad, Suzanne K., Howe, George W., Peterson, Rolf, Spotts, Erica L.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychobiology, Developmental psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Adolescents, Behavioral genetics, Family systems, Gene-environment interaction, Genetic influence, Parenting
Publication Number: 3372747
ISBN: 978-1-109-37119-2
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