Stability and Change in Temperament During Adolescence

Jody M. Ganiban, Kimberly J. Saudino, Jennifer Ulbricht, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, David Reiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This study assessed genetic and environmental contributions to temperament during adolescence within the Nonshared Environment and Adolescent Development project (NEAD; D. Reiss, J. M. Neiderhiser, E. M. Hetherington, & R. Plomin, 2000). NEAD is a national study that includes twins and other sibling types who vary in regard to genetic relatedness. Seven hundred twenty sibling pairs (aged 12.1-13.5 years) participated at Time 1, and 395 sibling pairs (aged 14.7-16.2 years) participated again at Time 2. At both Times, mothers and fathers rated their children's temperament (emotionality, activity, sociability, and shyness). At Times 1 and 2, genetic and nonshared environmental factors accounted for variance in temperament, whereas shared environmental contributions were negligible. However, at Time 1, genetic contributions were inflated, and shared environmental contributions were masked if sibling contrast effects were not taken into account. At Time 2, sibling interaction effects had little impact on estimates of genetic and environmental contributions to temperament. Last, temperament stability was primarily explained by genetic factors, whereas both genetic and nonshared environmental factors accounted for change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-236
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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