Parenting Does Make a Difference (An Interaction of Nature and Nurture)

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chickenparentingstyle.jpgSeveral of you agreed in class that nature and nurture together are the root causes for psychological behavior. However, is it possible that a genetic variation might make you more sensitive to environmental factors, such as parenting style? This might, indeed, be the case. This study indicates that children with a particular variant in a gene are more sensitive to the effects of parenting. This variant occurs in roughly 20% of people, leaving 80% without the variant somewhat indifferent to the effects of parenting style.

Basically, if the children with the variant had neglectful, insensitive, or abusive parents, they were more likely to turn out "bad." But, if the children with the variant had warm and supportive parents, they were more likely than predicted to turn out happy and well-adjusted. Perhaps the Bogle family had the variant?!? That would be interesting to examine, wouldn't it?

However, keep in mind that behavior is complex and most likely is not due to one particular gene variation. Also, this study could not be a true experiment (why not?), so we must not jump to causal conclusions. However, I find the idea of the effects of nurture being amplified according to genetic expression fascinating, but keep reminding myself that the overall picture is much bigger. Human beings are very complex and should not (cannot?) be reduced down to the bits and pieces to explain our behaviors. Instead we all seem to be cases of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts...

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Great article!

My blog post shares some similarities in regards to childhood development. But like you mentioned, we are indeed complex beings. Makes me wonder what caused this gene variant to appear -- was it purely a mutation or is there some biological/evolutionary article at work.

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This page contains a single entry by Penny Nichol published on October 7, 2011 4:01 PM.

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