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Genetic architecture of Environmental Sensitivity reflects multiple heritable components: a twin study with adolescents

Assary, Elham, Zavos, Helena M.S., Krapohl, Eva, Keers, Robert and Pluess, Michael (2021) Genetic architecture of Environmental Sensitivity reflects multiple heritable components: a twin study with adolescents. Molecular Psychiatry, 26 (9). 4896 - 4904. ISSN 1359-4184

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41380-020-0783-8

Abstract

Humans differ substantially in how strongly they respond to similar experiences. Theory suggests that such individual differences in susceptibility to environmental influences have a genetic basis. The present study investigated the genetic architecture of Environmental Sensitivity (ES) by estimating its heritability, exploring the presence of multiple heritable components and its genetic overlap with common personality traits. ES was measured with the Highly Sensitive Child (HSC) questionnaire and heritability estimates were obtained using classic twin design methodology in a sample of 2868 adolescent twins. Results indicate that the heritability of sensitivity was 0.47, and that the genetic influences underlying sensitivity to negative experiences are relatively distinct from sensitivity to more positive aspects of the environment, supporting a multi-dimensional genetic model of ES. The correlation between sensitivity, neuroticism and extraversion was largely explained by shared genetic influences, with differences between these traits mainly attributed to unique environmental influences operating on each trait.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.nature.com/mp/
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 17:45
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2021 09:42
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/112927

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