Family Studies

The field of behavioral genetics studies the genetic and environmental underpinnings of a broad range of behaviors and psychological constructs, such as personality traits (e.g., impulsivity, neuroticism), health-related behaviors (e.g., eating habits), and psychopathologies (e.g., schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder). The family study design is one of the primary methodologies, including twin and adoption study designs, in the field of behavioral genetics. The family study design can be implemented when investigating the extent to which psychological constructs or behavioral tendencies, such as those mentioned, “run in families” (e.g., whether individuals with schizophrenia have higher rates of schizophrenia in their families than individuals without schizophrenia). This method is particularly useful for studying the familial transmission of psychopathologies and, consequently, is commonly employed in clinical science research. Thus, ...

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