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J Fam Psychol. 2006 Dec;20(4):605-13.

Examining the origins of gender differences in marital quality: a behavior genetic analysis.

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Center for Family Research, George Washington University, USA.


Numerous researchers have examined gender differences in marital quality, with mixed results. In this study, the authors further this investigation by looking for genetic and environmental sources of variation in marital quality. The 1st aim of the study was to replicate previous findings of genetic and nonshared environmental influences on marital quality. The 2nd was to explore the etiology of gender differences in marital quality. The Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders sample of twin men and twin women was used. Genetic and nonshared environmental factors were again found to influence marital quality. Findings also suggest small differences between men and women in the levels of genetic and environmental influence on variance in marital quality. The men's reports of marital warmth and conflict were influenced by the same genetic factors, but women's reports of marital warmth and conflict were influenced by different genetic factors. Results are discussed in the context of previous research on social support and implications for future studies of the etiology of marital quality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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