Marital conflict and conduct problems in children of twins

K. Paige Harden, Eric Turkheimer, Robert E. Emery, Brian M. D'Onofrio, Wendy S. Slutske, Andrew C. Heath, Nicholas G. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The Children-of-Twins design was used to test whether associations between marital conflict frequency and conduct problems can be replicated within the children of discordant twin pairs. A sample of 2,051 children (age 14-39 years) of 1,045 twins was used to estimate the genetic and environmental influences on marital conflict and determine whether genetic or environmental selection processes underlie the observed association between marital conflict and conduct problems. Results indicate that genetic and nonshared environmental factors influence the risk of marital conflict. Furthermore, genetic influences mediated the association between marital conflict frequency and conduct problems. These results highlight the need for quasiexperimental designs in investigations of intergenerational associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalChild Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


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