Social-relational exposures and well-being: Using multivariate twin data to rule-out heritable and shared environmental confounds

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The aims of the present study were as follows: (1) Using a large sample of adults, estimate overlap between social-relational exposures measured at midlife and well-being measured at midlife and approximately 9-years later. (2) Using a subsample of twins, test for heritable variation in social-relational exposures, and (3) controlling for heritable and shared environmental variation, estimate overlap between social-relational exposures and well-being, both concurrently and approximately 9-years later. Results indicated small-to-moderate overlap between exposures and well-being (mean r = 0.29, range = 0.05–0.54). There was also evidence for heritable variation in exposures, and after accounting for these genetic factors, the degree of overlap between social-relational exposures and well-being decreased (mean r = 0.10, range = −0.07 to 0.33).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103880
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation , through the Genetics and Human Agency project. Since 1995 the MIDUS study has been funded by the following: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network; National Institute on Aging ( P01-AG020166 ); National Institute on Aging ( U19-AG051426 ).


  • Social strain
  • Social support
  • Twins
  • Well-Being
  • Work-family spillover

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