Examining the phenotype of parenting via polygenic risk scores for educational attainment: 49th Annual Meeting of the Behavior-Genetics-Association (BGA)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Brooke Slawinski, Michigan State University, United States; Kelly
Klump, Michigan State University, United States; S. Alexandra Burt,
Michigan State University, United States
Social aggression (SA) is a form of antisocial behavior in which
social relationships and social status are used to damage reputations
and inflict emotional harm on others. Despite extensive research
focused on understanding the prevalence and consequences of SA,
only three studies have examined the underlying etiology of these
behaviors, with markedly inconsistent results. Moreover, all of these
studies relied on a classical twin design (CTD), which can result in
biased heritability estimates when the strict assumptions of the design
are violated. The current study sought to overcome this limitation by
estimating the etiology of SA using a nuclear twin family (NTF)
design, which requires far fewer assumptions. We also fit the CTD
model using the same data to evaluate whether its assumptions may
have biased previous heritability estimates. Maternal-report, paternalreport, and teacher-report data were collected for twin SA (N=1,030
pairs). Self-report data was collected for parental SA. The best-fitting
NTF model for all informants was the ASFE model, indicating that
additive genetic, sibling environmental, familial environmental, and
non-shared environmental influences significantly contribute to the
etiology of SA in middle childhood. Unlike the NTF model, the bestfitting CTD model varied dramatically across informants. Although
the specific NTF parameter estimates varied, SA generally emerged as
largely additive genetic (A=0.07–0.62) and sibling environmental (S
=0.18–0.50) in origin. The magnitude of S suggests that future
research should attempt to identify specific sibling-level environmental influences that contribute to SA, such as peer groups, school
experiences, parenting practices, and rearing neighborhood characteristics. Lastly, research has shown that the NTFM is superior to the
CTD because it provides more nuanced and precise heritability estimates. Our results indicate that it may also be robust to informant
effects and, therefore, a more valid assessment of etiology for these
phenotypes in which informant biases are problematic.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages78
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventBGA Annual Meeting: 49th Behavior Genetics Annual Meeting - Karolinska Inst, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 26 Jun 201929 Jun 2019


ConferenceBGA Annual Meeting
Internet address


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