Investigating age differences in the genetic and environmental structure of the tridimensional personality questionnaire in later adulthood

Noa Heiman, Michael C. Stallings, Scott Hofer, John K. Hewitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study we examined cross-sectional age differences in means, phenotypic covariance structure, and the underlying genetic and environmental structure of four personality constructs from Cloninger's personality system: Novelty Seeking (NS), Harm Avoidance (HA), Reward Dependence (RD), and Persistence (PS). Study participants were same-sex female twins between the ages of 50 and 96, drawn from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) twin sample. We examined age differences by comparing younger (age 50-65) and older (age 66+) cohorts (based on a median split of the sample) and by estimating biometrical model parameters as linear and quadratic functions of continuous age. Results indicated modest, but significant, mean-level declines across this age range for NS, RD, and PS. HA showed no significant mean differences. We found moderate heritability estimates for all of the TPQ higher-order personality dimensions, ranging from 0.16 to 0.62. No significant age differences in the proportion of genetic and environmental influences on the TPQ dimensions were found. For HA, RD, and PS there were no significant age-related differences in total variance. However, for NS we observed a decline in total phenotypic variance across age cohorts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Genetic Structures
adulthood
Reward
Personality
questionnaires
persistence
Cross-Sectional Studies
age-related difference
Surveys and Questionnaires
heritability
phenotypic variation
sampling
gender

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Personality
  • TPQ
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Investigating age differences in the genetic and environmental structure of the tridimensional personality questionnaire in later adulthood. / Heiman, Noa; Stallings, Michael C.; Hofer, Scott; Hewitt, John K.

In: Behavior Genetics, Vol. 33, No. 2, 03.2003, p. 171-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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