Advertisement

Behavior Genetics

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 211–222 | Cite as

Exercise Participation in Adolescents and Their Parents: Evidence for Genetic and Generation Specific Environmental Effects

  • Marleen H. M. De MoorEmail author
  • Gonneke Willemsen
  • Irene Rebollo-Mesa
  • Janine H. Stubbe
  • Eco J. C. De Geus
  • Dorret I. Boomsma
ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Abstract

Individual differences in adolescent exercise behavior are to a large extent explained by shared environmental factors. The aim of this study was to explore to what extent this shared environment represents effects of cultural transmission of parents to their offspring, generation specific environmental effects or assortative mating. Survey data on leisure-time exercise behavior were available from 3,525 adolescent twins and their siblings (13–18 years) and 3,138 parents from 1,736 families registered at the Netherlands Twin Registry. Data were also available from 5,471 adult twins, their siblings and spouses similar in age to the parents. Exercise participation (No/Yes, using a cut-off criterion of 4 metabolic equivalents and 60 min weekly) was based on questions on type, frequency and duration of exercise. A model to analyze dichotomous data from twins, siblings and parents including differences in variance decomposition across sex and generation was developed. Data from adult twins and their spouses were used to investigate the causes of assortative mating (correlation between spouses = 0.41, due to phenotypic assortment). The heritability of exercise in the adult generation was estimated at 42%. The shared environment for exercise behavior in adolescents mainly represents generation specific shared environmental influences that seem somewhat more important in explaining familial clustering in girls than in boys (52 versus 41%). A small effect of vertical cultural transmission was found for boys only (3%). The remaining familial clustering for exercise behavior was explained by additive genetic factors (42% in boys and 36% in girls). Future studies on adolescent exercise behavior should focus on identification of the generation specific environmental factors.

Keywords

Exercise participation Parents Twins Genetic transmission Cultural transmission Assortative mating Adolescence Adulthood 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge financial support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) (NWO-904-61-193, NWO-311-60-008, NWO-480-04-004 and NWO-575-25-006, Spinozapremie SPI 56-464-14192) and by NIH DA018673.

References

  1. Aarnio M, Winter T, Kujala UM, Kaprio J (1997) Familial aggregation of leisure-time physical activity—a three generation study. Int J Sports Med 18:549–556PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Whitt MC, Irwin ML, Swartz AM, Strath SJ et al (2000) Compendium of physical activities: an update of activity codes and MET intensities. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32:S498–S516PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albright A, Franz M, Hornsby G, Kriska A, Marrero D, Ullrich I et al (2000) Exercise and type 2 diabetes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32:1345–1360PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berlin JA, Colditz GA (1990) A meta-analysis of physical activity in the prevention of coronary heart disease. Am J Epidemiol 132:612–628PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Beunen G, Thomis M (1999) Genetic determinants of sports participation and daily physical activity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 23:S55–S63PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boomsma DI, Molenaar PCM (1987) Constrained maximum-likelihood analysis of familial resemblance of twins and their parents. Acta Genet Med Gemellol 36:29–39PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Boomsma DI, Vandenbree MBM, Orlebeke JF, Molenaar PCM (1989) Resemblances of parents and twins in sports participation and heart-rate. Behav Genet 19:123–141PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boomsma DI, Vink JM, van Beijsterveldt TC, de Geus EJ, Beem AL, Mulder EJ et al (2002) Netherlands Twin Register: a focus on longitudinal research. Twin Res 5:401–406PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boomsma DI, de Geus EJC, Vink JM, Stubbe JH, Distel MA, Hottenga JJ et al (2006) Netherlands Twin Register: from twins to twin families. Twin Res Hum Genet 9:849–857PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carlsson S, Andersson T, Lichtenstein P, Michaelsson K, Ahlbom A (2006) Genetic effects on physical activity: results from the Swedish twin registry. Med Sci Sports Exerc 38:1396–1401PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cloninger CR (1980) Interpretation of intrinsic and extrinsic structural relations by path analysis: theory and applications to assortative mating. Genet Res 36:133–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. de Geus EJC, Boomsma DI, Snieder H (2003) Genetic correlation of exercise with heart rate and respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Med Sci Sports Exerc 35:1287–1295PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eaves LJ, Last KA, Young PA, Martin NG (1978) Model-fitting approaches to the analysis of human behavior. Heredity 41:249–320PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eaves LJ, Silberg JL, Maes HH (2005) Revisiting the children of twins: can they be used to resolve the environmental effects of dyadic parental treatment on child behavior? Twin Res Hum Genet 8:283–290PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eriksson M, Rasmussen F, Tynelius P (2006) Genetic factors in physical activity and the equal environment assumption—the Swedish young male twins study. Behav Genet 36:238–247PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Falconer DS, Mackay TFC (1996) Introduction to quantitative genetics, 4th edn. Pearson Education Limited, EssexGoogle Scholar
  17. Fulker DW (1989) Extensions of the classical twin method. In: Weir BS, Eisen EJ, Goodman MM, Namkoong G (eds) Proceedings of the second international conference on quantitative genetics. Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland MA, pp 395–406Google Scholar
  18. Gustafson SL, Rhodes RE (2006) Parental correlates of physical activity in children and early adolescents. Sports Med 36:79–97PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Heath AC, Eaves LJ (1985) Resolving the effects of phenotype and social background on mate selection. Behav Genet 15:15–30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heath AC, Kendler KS, Eaves LJ, Markell D (1985) The resolution of cultural and biological inheritance—informativeness of different relationships. Behav Genet 15:439–465PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kaplan GA, Strawbridge WJ, Cohen RD, Hungerford LR (1996) Natural history of leisure-time physical activity and its correlates: associations with mortality from all causes and cardiovascular disease over 28 years. Am J Epidemiol 144:793–797PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Keller MC, Medland SE, Duncan LE, Hatemi PK, Neale MC, Maes HH et al (2009) Modeling extended twin family data I: description of the Cascade model 3. Twin Res Hum Genet 12:8–18PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. King AC, Blair SN, Bild DE, Dishman RK, Dubbert PM, Marcus BH et al (1992) Determinants of physical activity and interventions in adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 24:S221–S236PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Kujala UM, Kaprio J, Koskenvuo M (2002) Modifiable risk factors as predictors of all-cause mortality: the roles of genetics and childhood environment. Am J Epidemiol 156:985–993PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lauderdale DS, Fabsitz R, Meyer JM, Sholinsky P, Ramakrishnan V, Goldberg J (1997) Familial determinants of moderate and intense physical activity: a twin study. Med Sci Sports Exerc 29:1062–1068PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Maes HH, Neale MC, Medland SE, Keller MC, Martin NG, Heath AC et al (2009) Flexible Mx specification of various extended twin kinship designs. Twin Res Hum Genet 12:26–34PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Maia JAR, Thomis M, Beunen G (2002) Genetic factors in physical activity levels—a twin study. Am J Prev Med 23:87–91PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Martinez JA, Hu FB, Gibney MJ, Kearney J (1999) Physical inactivity, sedentary lifestyle and obesity in the European Union. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 23:1192–1201PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Varo JJ, Santos JL, de Irala J, Gibney M, Kearney J et al (2001) Prevalence of physical activity during leisure time in the European Union. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33:1142–1146PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Neale MC, Cardon LR (1992) Methodology for genetic studies of twins and families. Kluwer Academic Publishers, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  31. Neale MC, Walters EE, Eaves LJ, Maes HH, Kendler KS (1994) Multivariate genetic-analysis of twin-family data on fears—Mx models. Behav Genet 24:119–139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Neale MC, Boker SM, Xie G, Maes HH (2006) Mx: statistical modeling. Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VirginiaGoogle Scholar
  33. Perusse L, Leblanc C, Bouchard C (1988) Familial resemblance in lifestyle components—results from the Canada fitness survey. Can J Public Health-Revue Canadienne de Sante Publique 79:201–205Google Scholar
  34. Perusse L, Tremblay A, Leblanc C, Bouchard C (1989) Genetic and environmental-influences on level of habitual physical-activity and exercise participation. Am J Epidemiol 129:1012–1022PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Phillips K, Fulker DW (1989) Quantitative genetic analysis of longitudinal trends in adoption designs with application to IQ in the Colorado Adoption Project. Behav Genet 19:621–658PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Reynolds CA, Barlow T, Pedersen NL (2006) Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine use: spouse similarity processes. Behav Genet 36:201–215PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sallis JF, Prochaska JJ, Taylor WC (2000) A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32:963–975PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Seabra AF, Mendonca DM, Goring HHH, Thomis MA, Maia JA (2008) Genetic and environmental factors in familial clustering in physical activity 1. Eur J Epidem 23:205–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Steptoe A, Wardle J, Fuller R, Holte A, Justo J, Sanderman R et al (1997) Leisure-time physical exercise: prevalence, attitudinal correlates, and behavioral correlates among young Europeans from 21 countries. Prev Med 26:845–854PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stubbe JH, Boomsma DI, de Geus EJC (2005) Sports participation during adolescence: a shift from environmental to genetic factors. Med Sci Sports Exerc 37:563–570PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stubbe JH, Boomsma DI, Vink JM, Cornes BK, Martin NG, Skytthe A et al (2006) Genetic influences on exercise participation: a comparative study in adult twin samples from seven countries. PLoS ONE 1:e22. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000022-http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0000022
  42. van Leeuwen M, van den Berg SM, Boomsma DI (2008) A twin-family study of general IQ. Learn Individ Differ 18:76–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Willemsen G, Posthuma D, Boomsma DI (2005) Environmental factors determine where the Dutch live: results from the Netherlands Twin Register. Twin Res Hum Genet 8:312–317PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marleen H. M. De Moor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gonneke Willemsen
    • 1
  • Irene Rebollo-Mesa
    • 1
  • Janine H. Stubbe
    • 1
  • Eco J. C. De Geus
    • 1
  • Dorret I. Boomsma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological PsychologyVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations