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ERIC Number: EJ846996
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 107
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
Rethinking Environmental Contributions to Child and Adolescent Psychopathology: A Meta-Analysis of Shared Environmental Influences
Burt, S. Alexandra
Psychological Bulletin, v135 n4 p608-637 2009
Behavioral genetic research has concluded that the more important environmental influences result in differences between siblings (referred to as "nonshared"; "e[superscript 2]"), whereas environmental influences that create similarities between siblings (referred to as "shared"; "c[superscript 2]") are indistinguishable from zero. However, there is mounting evidence that during childhood and adolescence, "c[superscript 2]" may make important contributions to most forms of psychopathology. The aim of the meta-analysis was to empirically confirm this hypothesis. The author examined twin and adoption studies (n = 490) of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology prior to adulthood. Analyses revealed that "c[superscript 2]" accounted for 10%-19% of the variance within conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, depression, and broad internalizing and externalizing disorders, regardless of their operationalization. When age, informant, and sex effects were considered, "c[superscript 2]" generally ranged from 10%-30% of the variance. Importantly, "c[superscript 2]" estimates did not vary across twin and adoption studies, suggesting that these estimates reflect actual environmental influences common to siblings. The only exception was attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which appeared to be largely genetic (and particularly nonadditive genetic) in origin. Conceptual, methodological, and clinical implications of these findings are discussed. (Contains 6 tables, 7 figures and 9 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A