Behavior Genetics

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 687–696 | Cite as

Frequentist Model-averaged Estimators and Tests for Univariate Twin Models

  • Christopher J. WilliamsEmail author
  • Joe C. Christian


Parameter estimates from analyses of univariate twin data usually do not reflect the uncertainty due to the model selection phase of the data analysis. To address the effect of model selection uncertainty on parameter estimates, we introduce frequentist model-averaged estimators for univariate twin data analysis that use information-theoretic criteria to assign model weights. We conduct simulation studies to examine the performance of model-averaged estimators of additive genetic variance, and for tests for additive genetic variance based on model-averaged estimators. In simulation studies with small or moderate sample sizes, model-averaged estimators of additive genetic variance typically have lower mean-squared error than either (i) estimators from individual twin models, or (ii) estimators obtained from a decision procedure where the best-fitting model from likelihood-ratio testing is used to estimate additive genetic variance. For each sample size simulated, bootstrap tests based on model-averaged estimators have higher power to detect additive genetic variance than currently-used tests in most cases.


Additive genetic variance information-theoretic criteria AIC BIC 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of StatisticsUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical and Molecular GeneticsIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA

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