Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Family Studies (Genetics)

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_687


Family studies are fundamental tools in the discipline of behavioral genetics (Turner, Cardon, & Hewitt, 1995) and can provide information of great interest in Behavioral Medicine. They permit assessments of degrees of familial resemblance, or aggregation, of physical, psychological, and behavioral characteristics.


Pairs of siblings resemble each other more than do randomly chosen pairs of individuals, and children resemble their parents, on average, to a greater degree than they resemble randomly chosen adults. Such degrees of resemblance can be assessed in terms of correlation coefficients for continuous quantitative measurements, such as blood pressure and weight, and in terms of concordance rates for discretely defined characteristics, such as having or not having a specific disease state or psychiatric diagnosis.

In clinical studies, the proband is defined as the individual affected by a disease or condition of clinical concern that causes a family to be...

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References and Readings

  1. Hewitt, J. K., & Turner, J. R. (1995). Introduction. In J. R. Turner, L. R. Cardon, & J. K. Hewitt (Eds.), Behavior genetic approaches in behavioral medicine. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  2. Turner, J. R., Cardon, L. R., & Hewitt, J. K. (Eds.). (1995). Behavior genetic approaches in behavioral medicine. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  3. van Riper, M. V. (2010). Genomics and the family: Integrative frameworks. In K. P. Tercyak (Ed.), Handbook of genomics and the family: Psychosocial context for children and adolescents (pp. 109–139). New York: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiovascular SafetyQuintilesDurhamUSA