A model system for analysis of family resemblance in extended kinships of twins

K. R. Truett, L. J. Eaves, E. E. Walters, A. C. Heath, J. K. Hewitt, J. M. Meyer, J. Silberg, M. C. Neale, N. G. Martin, K. S. Kendler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The "Virginia 30,000" comprise 29,698 subjects from the extended kinships of 5670 twin pairs. Over 80 unique correlations between relatives can be derived from these kinships, comprised of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins and their spouses, parents, siblings, and children. This paper describes the first application of a fairly general model for family resemblance to data from the Virginia 30,000. The model assesses the contributions of additive and dominant genetic effects in the presence of vertical cultural inheritance, phenotypic assortative mating, shared twin and sibling environments, and within-family environment. The genetic and environmental effects can be dependent on sex. Assortment and cultural inheritance may be based either on the phenotype as measured or on a latent trait of which the measured phenotype is an unreliable index. The model was applied to church attendance data from this study. The results show that the contributions of genes, vertical cultural inheritance, and genotype-environment covariance are all important, but their contributions are significantly heterogeneous over sexes. Phenotypic assortative mating has a major impact on family resemblance in church attendance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-49
Number of pages15
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994


  • Twins
  • assortative mating
  • cultural inheritance
  • maternal effects
  • religion
  • twin environment
  • twin kinships


Dive into the research topics of 'A model system for analysis of family resemblance in extended kinships of twins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this