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Biodemography Soc Biol. 2011;57(1):53-66.

Stressful life events and depression among adolescent twin pairs.

Author information

1
Department of Sociology, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0483, USA. boardman@colorado.edu

Abstract

Using the twin pairs sample from the National Longitudinal Study ofAdolescent Health, we estimate bivariate Cholesky models for the influence of stressful life events (SLEs) on depressive symptoms. We show that depressive symptoms (h2Depression = .28) and dependent SLEs (events influenced by an individual's behavior) are both moderately heritable (h2SLE Dependent = .43). We find no evidence for the heritability of independent SLEs. Results from the bivariate Cholesky model suggest that roughly one-half of the correlation between depression and dependent SLEs is due to common genetic factors. Our findings suggest that attempts to characterize the causal effect of SLEs on mental health should limit their list of SLEs to those that are outside of the control of the individual.

PMID:
21845927
PMCID:
PMC3159920
DOI:
10.1080/19485565.2011.574565
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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