Behavior Genetics

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 455–463 | Cite as

The Genetic Correlation Between Impulsivity and Sensation Seeking Traits

Abstract

A number of studies have demonstrated associations between sensation seeking traits and measures of impulsivity. This study examined genetic contributions to the observed correlations between imupulsivity and sensation seeking traits. Fifty-seven pairs of identical and 49 pairs of fraternal twins who were reared apart and 90 individuals who also participated in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart completed the Control scale of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ; Tellegen, 1982) and the four subscales of the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS; Zuckerman, 1979), Consistent with previous studies, the Control scale was significantly correlated with the SSS. A Cholesky decomposition of the data indicated that the phenotypic correlations between the Control scale and the four subscales of the SSS were mediated almost entirely by genetic factors. In the final reduced model the proportion of the genetic variance of the Control scale in common with the SSS was estimated as 55%, and the rest of the genetic variance (45%) was attributed to the genetic variance specific to the Control scale. The results emphasize the importance of common biological mechanisms underlying associations between impulsivity and sensation seeking traits.

Impulsivity sensation seeking traits genetic correlation twin study Sensation Seeking Scale 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolis
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis

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