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One Is Good, Two Is Better

"One Is Good, Two Is Better: How Twins May (and Should) Help Us Redefine Gene-Environment Interplay and Developmental Health"

Abstract: The actual, and still prevalent, view in developmental research and theory is that the environment and the way we experience it play a decisive role in establishing inter-individual differences in cognitive and psychosocial development. For example, both attachment theory and social learning theories posit that early experiences within the family set the stage for future development. These experiences are often seen as shared to a significant extent by children of the same family. However, the empirical foundation on which this position is based is often questionable, especially when only one child per family is assessed. Twin studies, because they assess more than one child per family and provide means of disentangling genetic from environmental contributions, are well suited to test specific hypothesis about the nature and contribution of environmental factors. The presentation will highlight results from the Quebec Newborn Twin Study that challenge some of the common assumptions regarding the role of genetic and environmental factors in development. The significance of these findings with respect to theories of socialization will also be discussed.

Thursday, March 27, 2014
4:15 p.m., 127 Moore Building