Behavior Genetics

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 36–47 | Cite as

Genetic and Environmental Influences on the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory in a Preadolescent Twin Sample

  • Joshua D. Isen
  • Laura A. Baker
  • Adrian Raine
  • Serena Bezdjian


This study evaluated the genetic and environmental structure of personality variables from the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI), in 605 pairs of 9- and 10-year old twins. There is a paucity of information on the biometric structure of temperament and character traits in preadolescent children. Latent factor models were fit to the subscales/items of each trait as a method of estimating genetic and environmental effects on true score variance, especially since internal consistency and reliability were moderate or low for some scales (particularly Reward Dependence and Persistence). Shared environmental influences on Cooperativeness were substantial. Significant heritability estimates were obtained for Self-directedness and Harm Avoidance, but not Novelty Seeking, Reward Dependence or Persistence. With the exception of Harm Avoidance, each of the scales failed to show measurement invariance with respect to sex, suggesting these scales may differ in meaning for boys and girls at this age.


JTCI Personality Twins Preadolescence Measurement invariance 



This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health to the first author (MH58354), to the third author (MH0111408), and to the fourth author (MH068953). We also appreciate the critical feedback from the anonymous reviewers who significantly aided in the direction and focus of this paper. We wish to thank the numerous public and private school personnel for their assistance in recruiting twins, as well as the many research staff members involved in the data collection. Most of all, we deeply appreciate the enormous contributions of the twins and their families who have participated in this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua D. Isen
    • 1
  • Laura A. Baker
    • 1
  • Adrian Raine
    • 2
  • Serena Bezdjian
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, SGM 501University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Criminology, Psychiatry, and PsychologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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