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Kirby Deater-Deckard & Zhe Wang

In: Relationship Pathways: From Adolescence to Young Adulthood

Chapter 11: Gene-Environment Interplay in Adolescent Relationships

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Gene-Environment Interplay in Adolescent Relationships
Gene-environment interplay in adolescent relationships

Humans and their many cultures have coevolved for hundreds of thousands of years. The establishment of social relationships as a basic and essential element in reproductive success and survival is one of the fundamental human features to emerge in this coevolution. Contemporary theories of social relationships in adolescence and young adulthood readily incorporate this perspective by generating hypotheses about the interplay of genetic and nongenetic (or “environmental”) influences on relationships. Empirical studies then test the hypotheses, typically using quasiexperimental behavioral genetic (e.g., twin and adoption studies) and molecular genetic designs (e.g., examination of specific genes).

Adolescence and young adulthood is a particularly interesting developmental period for examining gene-environment interplay in social relationships. It is during this ...

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