This work is the report of a longitudinal study, conducted over a ten year period, of the influence of family relationships and genetic factors on competence and psychopathology in adolescent development. The sample for this landmark study included 720 pairs of same-sex adolescent siblings - including twins, half siblings, and genetically unrelated siblings 0 and their parents. Using a clear expressive style, David Reiss and his coinvestigators identify specific mechanism that link genetic factors and the social environment in psychological development. They propose a striking hypothesis: family relationships are crucial to the expression of genetic influences on a broad array of complex behaviours in adolescents. Moreover, this role of family relationships may be very specific: some genetic factors are linked to mother-child relationships, other to father-child relations, some to relationship warmth,while others are linked to relationship conflict or control. The specificity of these links suggests that family relationships may constitute a code for translating genetic influences into the ontogeny of behaviours, a code every bit as important for behaviour as DNA-RNA.
David Reiss is Vivian Gill Distinguished Research Professor at the George Washington University Medical Center. Robert Plomin is Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Jenae Neiderhiser is Assistant Research Professor at the George Washington University Medical Center. E. Mavis Hetherington is James M. Page Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia.
David Reiss, E. Mavis Hetherington, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, Robert Plomin