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Twin Res. 1999 Jun;2(2):108-14.

Individual differences in adolescent religiosity in Finland: familial effects are modified by sex and region of residence.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Data from 16-year-old Finnish twin pairs were used to estimate familial effects on religiosity and the modification of those effects by sex and residential region. The sample of 2265 twin boys and 2521 twin girls formed 779 monozygotic and 1614 dizygotic pairs, 785 of the same sex and 829 of opposite sex. We compared religiosity scores of twins living in more rural and traditional northern Finland with those living in the more urban and secular southern region. Girls had higher religiosity scores than did boys, and twins living in northern Finland had higher religiosity scores than those resident in southern Finland. Correlations for monozygotic twins were slightly higher than those for dizygotic twins, and covariance modeling found modest heritability of religiosity [11% (95% CI 0-24) for girls; 22% (95% CI 6-38) for boys], and substantial shared environmental effects [60% (95% CI 49-69) and 45% (95% CI 31-57)] among girls and boys, respectively. The correlation between shared environmental effects in boys and girls was estimated to be 0.84 (95% CI 0.73-0.99). In analyses distinguishing region of residence, girls living in southern Finland were found to have significantly higher unshared environmental effects than girls in northern Finland, while boys living in the urban south appeared to have lower shared environmental effects, and higher additive genetic effects, than boys living in the rural north.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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