Family Cohesion and the General Factor of Personality: Examining Differences in Monozygotic Twin Pairs

  • Curtis S. Dunkel
  • Dimitri van der Linden
  • Emma I. Fullerton
  • Michael P. Hengartner
Research Article


It was recently found that differences between monozygotic twins in the general factor of personality were positively correlated with differences in adulthood recollections of maternal and paternal affection. The current study used data from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study on Aging to possibly replicate and extend these findings. The results were consistent with replication for monozygotic twin pairs who were reared together (base total of 166 pairs), but not for those who were reared apart (base total of 99 pairs). This finding suggests that the effect is due to the relative and not absolute aspects of the familial environment during childhood. Additionally, the general factor of personality was not shown to mediate childhood and adulthood family cohesion. These results suggest that the general factor of personality may have independent effects on recollections of childhood family cohesion and current family cohesion. Thus, both how family dynamics are related to the development of the general factor of personality and how the general factor of personality impacts adulthood family relations (e.g., parenting) are important areas of future inquiry.


General factor of personality Monozygotic twins Family cohesion 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Curtis S. Dunkel
    • 1
  • Dimitri van der Linden
    • 2
  • Emma I. Fullerton
    • 1
  • Michael P. Hengartner
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Illinois UniversityMacombUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Education, and Child StudiesErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.School of Applied PsychologyZurich University of Applied SciencesZurichSwitzerland

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