Prior work indicates that aspects of interpersonal relationships are heritable, including negativity within parent-adolescent relationships as well as romantic relationships during adulthood. There have not, however, been systematic studies to disentangle genetic and environmental influences on relationship dynamics with parents as they relate to romantic partner relationship dynamics. Thus, the present study examined genetic and environmental influences on associations between parent-adolescent conflict and young adult reports of negativity with a romantic partner using a longitudinal twin/sibling design. We found that genetic, shared, and nonshared environmental factors contributed to conflict in parent-adolescent relationships and that genetic and nonshared environmental factors uniquely contributed to negativity in the romantic partnership during young adulthood. The longitudinal association between parent-adolescent conflict and romantic relationship conflict was explained entirely by genetic influences shared by the 2 constructs. These findings have implications for understanding interpersonal functioning across different relationship types, spanning multiple developmental periods.
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