A Social Relations Model of Observed Family Negativity and Positivity Using a Genetically Informative Sample

Jonathan R Rasbash, Jennifer Jenkins*, Thomas G. O'Connor, Jennifer Tackett, David Reiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal of this study was to investigate individual and relationship influences on expressions of negativity and positivity in families. Parents and adolescents were observed in a round-robin design in a sample of 687 families. Data were analyzed using a multilevel social relations model. In addition, genetic contributions were estimated for actor effects. Children showed higher mean levels of negativity and lower mean levels of positivity as actors than did parents. Mothers were found to express and elicit higher mean levels of positivity and negativity than fathers. Actor effects were much stronger than partner effects, accounting for between 18%-39% of the variance depending on the actor and the outcome. Genetic (35%) and shared environmental (19%) influences explained a substantial proportion of the actor effect variance for negativity. Dyadic reciprocities were lowest in dyads with a high power differential (i.e., parent child dyads) and highest for dyads with equal power (sibling and marital dyads).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-491
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume100
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • social relations model
  • multilevel modeling
  • behavior genetics
  • emotion
  • family interaction
  • DEVELOPMENTAL PERSPECTIVE
  • EXTERNALIZING BEHAVIOR
  • ANTISOCIAL-BEHAVIOR
  • EXPRESSED EMOTION
  • PERSONALITY
  • TWIN
  • CONFLICT
  • AGE
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • CHILDHOOD

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