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Young Families: Good Parenting Also Dependent on Genetic Influencing
Source: ABC News Radio

(EAST LANSING, Mich.) -- Are you genetically suited to be a parent?

Since people first started having kids, the assumption has been that a person's success at raising children is primarily dependent on the way they were raised by their own dads and moms.

However, Michigan State University psychologist Alexandra Burt and doctoral student Ashlea Klahr say there appears to be genetic influences on parenting based on findings from 56 studies of 20,000 families from countries that include the U.S., Japan and Australia.

Burt and Klahr estimate that genetic influences in parents account for up to 40 percent of the warmth, control and negativity they express to their own youngsters.

There's also another important factor besides experience and genes that shapes parenting. Burt and Klahr say that adults are as much influenced by the children as the other way around.

"We need to be sensitive to the fact that this is a two-way process between parent and child that is both environmental and genetic," they conclude.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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