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Behavior Genetics

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 223–233 | Cite as

Internalizing Behavior in Adolescent Girls Affects Parental Emotional Overinvolvement: A Cross-lagged Twin Study

  • Therese MobergEmail author
  • Paul Lichtenstein
  • Mats Forsman
  • Henrik Larsson
ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the direction and the etiology of the association between different parenting styles (parental emotional overinvolvement [EOI] and parental criticism) and internalizing behavior from adolescence to early adulthood. A longitudinal genetically informative cross-lagged design was applied to a population-based sample of Swedish twins contacted at age 16–17 (n = 2369) and at age 19–20 (n = 1705). Sex-limitation modelling revealed different effects for boys and girls. For girls, genetic influences on internalizing problems at age 16–17 independently explained 2.7% of the heritability in parental EOI at age 19–20. These results suggest that emotionally overinvolved and self-sacrificing parental behavior stems in part from daughters (but not sons) genetic predisposition for internalizing behavior. These findings highlight the importance of genetically influenced child-driven effects underlying the parenting-internalizing association, and clarify that the role of such effects may differ depending on sex, type of parenting and developmental period.

Keywords

Internalizing behavior Parenting Sex-differences Longitudinal Genetics 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by grants from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research and from the Swedish Research Council. Henrik Larsson was funded by a post-doc stipend from Hjärnfonden and from the Karolinska Institutet center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Therese Moberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Lichtenstein
    • 1
  • Mats Forsman
    • 2
  • Henrik Larsson
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Centre for Violence PreventionKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Karolinska Institutet Center of Neurodevelopmental DisordersStockholmSweden

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