A genetically informed study of associations between family functioning and child psychosocial adjustment.

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.
Developmental Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.21). 12/2010; 47(3):707-25. DOI: 10.1037/a0021362
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research has documented associations between family functioning and offspring psychosocial adjustment, but questions remain regarding whether these associations are partly due to confounding genetic factors and other environmental factors. The current study used a genetically informed approach, the Children of Twins design, to explore the associations between family functioning (family conflict, marital quality, and agreement about parenting) and offspring psychopathology. Participants were 867 twin pairs (388 monozygotic; 479 dizygotic) from the Twin and Offspring Study in Sweden, their spouses, and children (51.7% female; M = 15.75 years). The results suggested associations between exposure to family conflict (assessed by the mother, father, and child) and child adjustment were independent of genetic factors and other environmental factors. However, when family conflict was assessed using only children's reports, the results indicated that genetic factors also influenced these associations. In addition, the analyses indicated that exposure to low marital quality and agreement about parenting was associated with children's internalizing and externalizing problems and that genetic factors also contributed to the associations of marital quality and agreement about parenting with offspring externalizing problems.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Anxiety disorders are prevalent in youth. Despite demonstrated efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), approximately 40 % of anxiety-disordered youth remain unresponsive to treatment. Because developmental and etiological models suggest that parental factors are relevant to the onset and maintenance of childhood anxiety, researchers have proposed and investigated family-based interventions with increased parent work in treatment, aiming to improve the efficacy of treatment for childhood anxiety. However, contrary to what theoretical models suggest, data to date did not indicate additive benefit of family-based CBT in comparison with child-centered modality. Is parent/family involvement unnecessary when treating childhood anxiety disorders? Or could there be the need for specificity (tailored family-based treatment) that is guided by a revised conceptualization that improves the implementation of a family-based intervention? The current review examines (1) relevant parental factors that have been found to be associated with the development and maintenance of childhood anxiety and (2) interventions that incorporate parental involvement. Relevant findings are integrated to formulate a "targeted" treatment approach for parental involvement in CBT for youth anxiety. Specifically, there is potential in the assessment of parent/family factors prior to treatment (for appropriateness) followed by a target-oriented implementation of parent training.
    Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 07/2014; · 3.13 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Studies of adolescent or parent-based twins suggest that gene-environment correlation (rGE) is an important mechanism underlying parent-adolescent relationships. However, information on how parents' and children's genes and environments influence correlated parent and child behaviors is needed to distinguish types of rGE. The present study used the novel Extended Children of Twins model to distinguish types of rGE underlying associations between negative parenting and adolescent (age 11-22 years) externalizing problems with a Swedish sample of 909 twin parents and their adolescent offspring and a U.S.-based sample of 405 adolescent siblings and their parents. Results suggest that evocative rGE, not passive rGE or direct environmental effects of parenting on adolescent externalizing, explains associations between maternal and paternal negativity and adolescent externalizing problems.
    Child Development 04/2013; · 4.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Researchers have identified environmental risks that predict subsequent psychological and medical problems. Based on these correlational findings, researchers have developed and tested complex developmental models and have examined biological moderating factors (e.g., gene-environment interactions). In this context, we stress the critical need for researchers to use family-based, quasi-experimental designs when trying to integrate genetic and social science research involving environmental variables because these designs rigorously examine causal inferences by testing competing hypotheses. We argue that sibling comparison, offspring of twins or siblings, in vitro fertilization designs, and other genetically informed approaches play a unique role in bridging gaps between basic biological and social science research. We use studies on maternal smoking during pregnancy to exemplify these principles. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print August 8, 2013: e1-e10. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301252).
    American Journal of Public Health 08/2013; · 3.93 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 4, 2014