Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

2011 Edition
| Editors: Sam Goldstein, Jack A. Naglieri

Recessive Trait

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_2362



The trait of a dichotomous pair that is not expressed in the phenotype of heterozygous individuals [3]. The weaker of a pair of alleles in heterozygous combination [2]. The recessive gene is the second gene that has no effect [1].


A recessive trait is the weak, unexpressed trait of a dichotomous pair of alleles (dominant-recessive) that has no effect in the phenotype of heterozygous individuals. An example would be a child who has the dominant or expressed trait for curly hair combined with the weak, unexpressed, recessive trait for straight hair and thus would be a child with curly hair [2]. However, if two recessive genes for a particular trait are inherited by a child, such as albinism, the child will be albino [2]. Recessive traits have a definite impact on child development such that children can inherit recessive characteristics ranging from red hair or a straight nose to serious conditions such as hemophilia, color blindness, or...

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    Berk, L. (1998). Development through the lifespan. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hetherington, E. M., & Parke, R. D. (Eds.). (1999). Child psychology: A contemporary viewpoint (Revth ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill College.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pinel, J. P. J. (2003). Biopsychology (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San AntonioUSA