Original Research

Behavior Genetics

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 499-511

Heritability and Longitudinal Stability of Schizotypal Traits During Adolescence

  • Marissa EricsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology (SGM 501), University of Southern California Email author 
  • , Catherine TuvbladAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology (SGM 501), University of Southern California
  • , Adrian RaineAffiliated withDepartments of Criminology, Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
  • , Kelly Young-WolffAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology (SGM 501), University of Southern California
  • , Laura A. BakerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology (SGM 501), University of Southern California

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The study investigated the genetic and environmental etiology of schizotypal personality traits in a non-selected sample of adolescent twins, measured on two occasions between the ages of 11 and 16 years old. The 22-item Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire- Child version (SPQ-C) was found to be factorially similar to the adult version of this instrument, with three underlying factors (Cognitive-Perceptual, Interpersonal-Affective, and Disorganization). Each factor was heritable at age 11–13 years (h 2 = 42–53%) and 14–16 years old (h 2 = 38–57%). Additive genetic and unique environmental influences for these three dimensions of schizotypal personality acted in part through a single common latent factor, with additional genetic effects specific to both Interpersonal-Affective and Disorganization subscales at each occasion. The longitudinal correlation between the latent schizotypy factor was r = 0.58, and genetic influences explained most of the stability in this latent factor over time (81%). These longitudinal data demonstrate significant genetic variance in schizotypal traits, with moderate stability between early to middle adolescence. In addition to common influences between the two assessments, there were new genetic and non-shared environmental effects that played a role at the later assessment, indicating significant change in schizotypal traits and their etiologies throughout adolescence.


Schizotypy Schizotypal personality Genetics Heritability Longitudinal