In contrast with early theories of socialization that emphasized the role of parents in shaping their children's personalities, recent empirical evidence suggests an evocative relationship between adolescent personality traits and the quality of the parent-adolescent relationship. Research using behavior genetic methods suggests that the association between personality and parenting is genetically mediated, such that the genetic effects on adolescent personality traits overlap with the genetic effects on parenting behavior. In the current study, the authors examined whether the etiology of this relationship might change depending on the adolescent's personality. Biometrical moderation models were used to test for gene-environment interaction and correlation between personality traits and measures of conflict, regard, and involvement with parents in a sample of 2,452 adolescents (M age = 17.79 years). They found significant moderation of both positive and negative qualities of the parent-adolescent relationship, such that the genetic and environmental variance in relationship quality varied as functions of the adolescent's levels of personality. These findings support the importance of adolescent personality in the development of the quality of the parent-adolescent relationship.
- behavior genetics