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Twin Res. 2001 Dec;4(6):439-42.

Genetic and environmental influences on self-esteem in a Japanese twin sample.

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  • 1Faculty of Letters, Chiba University, Japan.


The purpose of the present study is to clarify the mechanism of Japanese self-esteem (SE) in genetic and environmental influences using twin methodology. Eighty-one pairs of adolescent twins, including 50 pairs of monozygotic (MZ) twins and 31 pairs of dizygotic (DZ) twins, participated in this study. Self-esteem was assessed using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), translated into Japanese. As a result of using univariate twin analyses, model comparisons using the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) indicated that the AE model was the best fit (AIC = -5.35). In the best-fitting AE model, the heritability (a2) of SE was revealed to be moderate, accounting for 49% of the variance; environmental influences (individual-specific environmental factors) explained 51% of the variance. These results are consistent with the findings of some behavioral genetics studies of SE in the West and show that there is no difference between Western and Japanese populations in the mechanism of SE considering genetic and environmental influences. The results also suggest the importance of considering both genetic and environmental factors in studies of Japanese SE.

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