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J Sleep Res. 2007 Mar;16(1):17-23.

Stability of genetic influence on morningness-eveningness: a cross-sectional examination of South Korean twins from preadolescence to young adulthood.

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Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.


A cross-sectional twin design was used to study the developmental nature of genetic and environmental influences on morningness-eveningness (M-E). A total of 977 South Korean twin pairs aged 9-23 years completed 13 items of a Korean version of the Composite Scale through the telephone interview. The total sample was split into three age groups: preadolescents, adolescents, and young adults. Twin correlations did not vary significantly with age, suggesting that genetic influences on M-E are stable throughout the developmental span. Results of model-fitting analyses indicated that genetic and environmental factors explained, respectively, 45% and 55% of the variance in all three age groups. Environmental factors were primarily those factors that twins did not share as a consequence of their common rearing; family environmental factors in M-E were consistently near zero in all three age groups. The present study is the first to demonstrate genetic influences on M-E in preadolescent children as young as 9 years old. In spite of differences in culture and frequencies of genes between South Koreans and Caucasians, genetic and environmental influences on M-E found in the present sample were remarkably similar to those reported by previous studies on the basis of late adolescent and adult Caucasian twins.

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