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Persistence and innovation effects in genetic and environmental factors in negative emotionality during infancy: A twin study


Persistence and innovation effects in genetic and environmental factors in negative emotionality during infancy: A twin study

Schumann, Lyndall, Boivin, Michel, Paquin, Stéphane, Lacourse, Eric, Brendgen, Mara, Vitaro, Frank, Dionne, Ginette, Tremblay, Richard E. and Booij, Linda (2017) Persistence and innovation effects in genetic and environmental factors in negative emotionality during infancy: A twin study. PLOS ONE, 12 (4). e0176601. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0176601


Difficult temperament in infancy is a risk factor for forms of later internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, including depression and anxiety. A better understanding of the roots of difficult temperament requires assessment of its early development with a genetically informative design. The goal of this study was to estimate genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in infant negative emotionality, their persistence over time and their influences on stability between 5 and 18 months of age.

Participants were 244 monozygotic and 394 dizygotic twin pairs (49.7% male) recruited from birth. Mothers rated their twins for negative emotionality at 5 and 18 months. Longitudinal analysis of stability and innovation between the two time points was performed in Mplus.

There were substantial and similar heritability (approximately 31%) and shared environmental (57.3%) contributions to negative emotionality at both 5 and 18 months. The trait’s interindividual stability across time was both genetically- and environmentally- mediated. Evidence of innovative effects (i.e., variance at 18 months independent from variance at 5 months) indicated that negative emotionality is developmentally dynamic and affected by persistent and new genetic and environmental factors at 18 months.

In the first two years of life, ongoing genetic and environmental influences support temperamental negative emotionality but new genetic and environmental factors also indicate dynamic change of those factors across time. A better understanding of the source and timing of factors on temperament in early development, and role of sex, could improve efforts to prevent related psychopathology.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Schumann, Lyndall and Boivin, Michel and Paquin, Stéphane and Lacourse, Eric and Brendgen, Mara and Vitaro, Frank and Dionne, Ginette and Tremblay, Richard E. and Booij, Linda
Journal or Publication:PLOS ONE
Date:27 April 2017
  • National Health Research Development Program of Canada
  • Quebec Ministry of Health and Services
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Quebec Fund for research training and support to research (FCAR)
  • Quebec Council for Social Research
  • Quebec Health Research Fund (FRSQ)
  • Canadian Institute for Health research (CIHR) Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • CIHR New Investigator Award
  • Canada Research Chair Award
  • Concordia Open Access Author Fund
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1371/journal.pone.0176601
ID Code:983300
Deposited By: Danielle Dennie
Deposited On:12 Dec 2017 19:42
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56


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