Genes-in-Dyads: A Study of Relationship Quality

TitleGenes-in-Dyads: A Study of Relationship Quality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDas, A
JournalResearch on Aging
Keywordsgene–environment correlations, Polygenic, relationship quality, Well-being

Objectives:Using dyadic genetic information on older couples, this study queried associations of a polygenic score for well-being with one’s own as well as a partner’s relationship experiences.Method:Data were from the 2010 wave of the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. Analysis was through structural equation modeling.Results:Especially among women, the genetic score was associated with individuals’ own relationship experiences. Genetic externalities—linkages of one’s genes with a partner’s experiences—were also observed. No significant gender variations emerged.Discussion:Contrary to conceptions implicit in much of existing genetics literature—which focuses on individuals’ own gene–trait associations—the interpersonal environments most crucial to life course and health outcomes are shaped by the genes of all involved actors. Genetic externalities are a central component. Implications for the life course and gene–environment literatures are discussed.

Citation Key10746
PubMed ID32323614