Some personality traits converge gradually by long-term partnership through the lifecourse - Genetic and environmental structure of Cloninger's temperament and character dimensions

Sarah Yang, Joohon Sung, Ji Hae Kim, Yun Mi Song, Kayoung Lee, Han Na Kim, Hyung Lae Kim, C. Robert Cloninger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) is a comprehensive personality inventory that is widely used in behavioral genetics. The original theory suggested that temperament traits were under genetic influences, whereas character traits were gradually built by an interaction between temperaments and environment until early adulthood. This study attempted to evaluate TCI by examining the genetic and environmental contributions to personality with particular attention to spousal effects. From 687 families, a total of 3459 Korean adult individuals completed the survey. Among them, there were 542 Monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs and 122 Dizygotic twin pairs. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and heritability were calculated to examine the genetic and shared environmental contributions to personality. Moderate genetic contributions (0.17-0.43) were found for all TCI traits along with the evidence of shared environment (0.11-0.31) for harm avoidance (HA) and all characters. The ICCs of TCI in MZ pairs ranged 0.36-0.46. Spouses' had little resemblance for temperament, whereas for character dimensions, spouses (0.27-0.38) were more similar than first degree relatives (0.10-0.29). Resemblance between spouses increased with duration of marriage for most characters and HA. When the growing similarities between spouses were compared with their MZ cotwins' for subgroup of 81 trios, self-directedness (SD) of character showed even more similarities toward their spouses than cotwins as partnership duration increased (r=0.32). Our findings with regard to change in SD into late adulthood support the psychobiological theory of temperament and character, which suggests that both personality domains have distinct developmental trajectories despite equally large genetic influences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-49
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
    Volume63
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

    Keywords

    • Heritability
    • Personality
    • Temperament and character inventory
    • Twin-family study

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