Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Behav Genet. 1993 Jan;23(1):21-7.

A test of the equal-environment assumption in twin studies of psychiatric illness.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298.

Abstract

The traditional twin method is predicated on the equal-environment assumption (EEA)--that monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins are equally correlated in their exposure to environmental events of etiologic importance for the trait under study. In 1968, Scarr proposed a test of the EEA which examines the impact of phenotypic similarity in twins of perceived versus true zygosity. We apply this test for the EEA to five common psychiatric disorders (major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, phobia, bulimia, and alcoholism), as assessed by personal interview, in 1030 female-female twin pairs from the Virginia Twin Registry with known zygosity. We use a newly developed model-fitting approach which treats perceived zygosity as a form of specified familial environment. In 158 of the 1030 pairs (15.3%), one or both twins disagreed with the project-assigned zygosity. Model fitting provided no evidence for a significant influence of perceived zygosity on twin resemblance for any of the five disorders. Although limited in power, these results support the validity of the EEA in twin studies of psychiatric disorders.

PMID:
8476388
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk