Behavior Genetics

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 259–262

A simple algebraic demonstration of the validity of DeFries-Fulker analysis in unselected samples with multiple kinship levels

  • Joseph Lee Rodgers
  • Matt McGue

DOI: 10.1007/BF01067192

Cite this article as:
Rodgers, J.L. & McGue, M. Behav Genet (1994) 24: 259. doi:10.1007/BF01067192


DeFries and Fulker's (Behav. Genet.15, 467–473, 1985) regression procedure (DF analysis) to estimatec2 andh2 was originally applied to selected twin data. Since then, DF analysis has been applied more broadly in unselected data and with multiple (nontwin) kinship levels. Theoretical work based on the matrix algebra of variance-covariance matrices has shown that estimates ofc2 andh2 are unbiased in selected two-group settings. In this article, a simple proof is presented supporting the validity of DF analysis in broader settings. We use scalar algebra to show that parameter estimates ofh2 andc2 are unbiased in unselected settings with multiple (more than two) kinship levels. Caveats are offered, and other DF analysis problems are identified.

Key words

DeFries-Fulker regression procedure heritability common-environmental influences multiple kinship levels algebra DF analysis unbiased estimates 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Lee Rodgers
    • 1
  • Matt McGue
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OklahomaNorman
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis

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