Article

Genetic and environmental influences on adult life outcomes: evidence from the Texas Adoption Project.

Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, 1 University Station A8000, Austin, TX 78712-0187, USA.
Behavior Genetics (Impact Factor: 2.61). 06/2007; 37(3):463-76. DOI: 10.1007/s10519-007-9144-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A short mail questionnaire was sent to individuals, now adults, who had been studied over 30 years ago as children in the Texas Adoption Project. Their parents and (in many cases) siblings also described them using the same questionnaire, and the parents described themselves as well. The questionnaire was designed to obtain information about educational, occupational, and marital outcomes, as well as adult problems and personality. Results were obtained for 324 adopted and 142 biological children from the original 300 families, and for 266 parents. Although both the adopted and biological offsprings' outcomes were generally positive, those for the adopted offspring were somewhat less so. Biologically related family members tended to be more similar in their life outcomes than biologically unrelated family members, suggesting that genes were playing an important role.

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    ABSTRACT: Four composite variables concerning life outcomes were derived from a brief mail questionnaire describing 478 adults, now in their 30s and 40s, who had participated as children in the Texas Adoption Project. Responses were obtained from the participants themselves, their parents, and their siblings. MMPI scores of the parental generation were correlated with the adult outcomes of their biologically related and unrelated children. The obtained correlations were low, but for the biological relationships positive parent adjustment went with positive life outcomes of their children, whereas for adoptive relationships the reverse was the case. Favorable MMPI scores from late adolescence were favorably related to adult outcomes, as were favorable personality ratings from childhood.
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    ABSTRACT: Adults who had been children in families of the Texas Adoption Project rated how emotionally close they had been to their parents. Ratings were obtained via a mail questionnaire from 324 adopted and 149 biological children, and from parents and siblings. On the whole, relationships were judged to have been close rather than distant; parents judged them to have been closer than their children did; biological children were closer to their parents than adopted children; and children closer to their mothers than to their fathers. Self-ratings of childhood closeness were modest predictors of life outcomes such as maturity of personality, educational achievement, and absence of externalizing problems. Father–child similarity in personality was correlated (weakly) with judged closeness, but mother–child similarity was not.
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