Genetic and environmental influences on age at sexual initiation in the Colorado Adoption Project.

J. B. Bricker, M. C. Stallings, R. P. Corley, S. J. Wadsworth, A. Bryan, D. S. Timberlake, J. K. Hewitt, A. Caspi, Scott Hofer, S. A. Rhea, J. C. DeFries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whereas the majority of research on adolescent sexual initiation has focused solely on environmental factors, the present study used behavioral genetic analyses to investigate the relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences. Structural equation models were fitted to data from adoptive and non-adoptive sibling pairs (231 biologically related pairs and 169 unrelated pairs) from the Colorado Adoption Project. Information from censored individuals who had not yet experienced sexual initiation was maximized by adapting the twin survival analysis method of Pickles et al. (Behav Genet 24(5):457-468, 1994) to accommodate adoptive and non-adoptive siblings. Point estimates of variance components from an ACE model, including additive genetic (A), shared environmental (C), and non-shared environmental (E) influences were 28%, 24%, and 48%, respectively. Despite the lower point estimate for shared environmental effects than additive genetic effects, a CE model provided the best fit to the data. However, because adoptive siblings provide a direct estimate of shared environmental influences there is greater power to detect shared environmental effects in adoption designs. Evidence for genetic influences from our data were somewhat lower than those obtained in previous twin studies, possibly reflecting a return to more socially conservative sexual attitudes, changing sexual behaviors, or ambiguities in the wording of questions commonly used in research on adolescent sexuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-832
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Siblings
environmental effect
Behavioral Genetics
adolescent sexuality
Viverridae
Twin Studies
Structural Models
Sexuality
Survival Analysis
Research
Sexual Behavior
genet
sexual behavior
environmental factor
additive effect
project
environmental factors
methodology
Power (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Bricker, J. B., Stallings, M. C., Corley, R. P., Wadsworth, S. J., Bryan, A., Timberlake, D. S., ... DeFries, J. C. (2006). Genetic and environmental influences on age at sexual initiation in the Colorado Adoption Project. Behavior Genetics, 36(6), 820-832. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-006-9079-2

Genetic and environmental influences on age at sexual initiation in the Colorado Adoption Project. / Bricker, J. B.; Stallings, M. C.; Corley, R. P.; Wadsworth, S. J.; Bryan, A.; Timberlake, D. S.; Hewitt, J. K.; Caspi, A.; Hofer, Scott; Rhea, S. A.; DeFries, J. C.

In: Behavior Genetics, Vol. 36, No. 6, 11.2006, p. 820-832.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bricker, JB, Stallings, MC, Corley, RP, Wadsworth, SJ, Bryan, A, Timberlake, DS, Hewitt, JK, Caspi, A, Hofer, S, Rhea, SA & DeFries, JC 2006, 'Genetic and environmental influences on age at sexual initiation in the Colorado Adoption Project.', Behavior Genetics, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 820-832. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-006-9079-2
Bricker JB, Stallings MC, Corley RP, Wadsworth SJ, Bryan A, Timberlake DS et al. Genetic and environmental influences on age at sexual initiation in the Colorado Adoption Project. Behavior Genetics. 2006 Nov;36(6):820-832. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-006-9079-2
Bricker, J. B. ; Stallings, M. C. ; Corley, R. P. ; Wadsworth, S. J. ; Bryan, A. ; Timberlake, D. S. ; Hewitt, J. K. ; Caspi, A. ; Hofer, Scott ; Rhea, S. A. ; DeFries, J. C. / Genetic and environmental influences on age at sexual initiation in the Colorado Adoption Project. In: Behavior Genetics. 2006 ; Vol. 36, No. 6. pp. 820-832.
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