Genetic and educational assortative mating among US adults

TitleGenetic and educational assortative mating among US adults
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsDomingue, BW, Fletcher, JM, Dalton C. Conley, Boardman, JD
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
KeywordsGenetics, Health Conditions and Status, Methodology

Understanding the social and biological mechanisms that lead to homogamy (similar individuals marrying one another) has been a long-standing issue across many fields of scientific inquiry. Using a nationally representative sample of non-Hispanic white US adults from the Health and Retirement Study and information from 1.7 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms, we compare genetic similarity among married couples to noncoupled pairs in the population. We provide evidence for genetic assortative mating in this population but the strength of this association is substantially smaller than the strength of educational assortative mating in the same sample. Furthermore, genetic similarity explains at most 10 of the assortative mating by education levels. Results are replicated using comparable data from the Framingham Heart Study.


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Endnote Keywords

genetic homogamy/homophily/random mating/genetics/genetics

Endnote ID


Citation Key8110
PubMed ID24843128
PubMed Central IDPMC4050565