This research was supported by grants from the Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the National Health Research Development Program, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and Sainte-Justine Hospital's Research Center. Michel Boivin was supported by the Canada Research Chair Program. We are grateful to the children and parents of the Quebec Newborn Twin Study (QNTS), and the participating teachers and schools. We also thank Hélène Paradis and Bei Feng for data management and assistance with statistical analyses, and Jocelyn Malo for coordinating the data collection.
Strong Genetic Contribution to Peer Relationship Difficulties at School Entry: Findings From a Longitudinal Twin Study
Article first published online: 4 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 84, Issue 3, pages 1098–1114, May/June 2013
How to Cite
Boivin, M., Brendgen, M., Vitaro, F., Dionne, G., Girard, A., Pérusse, D. and Tremblay, R. E. (2013), Strong Genetic Contribution to Peer Relationship Difficulties at School Entry: Findings From a Longitudinal Twin Study. Child Development, 84: 1098–1114. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12019
- Issue published online: 8 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 4 DEC 2012
- Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture
- Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada
- National Health Research Development Program
- Sainte-Justine Hospital's Research Center
- Canada Research Chair Program
This study assessed the genetic and environmental contributions to peer difficulties in the early school years. Twins' peer difficulties were assessed longitudinally in kindergarten (796 twins, Mage = 6.1 years), Grade 1 (948 twins, Mage = 7.1 years), and Grade 4 (868 twins, Mage = 10 years) through multiple informants. The multivariate results revealed that genetic factors accounted for a strong part of both yearly and stable peer difficulties. At the univariate level, the genetic contributions emerged progressively, as did a growing consensus among informants with respect to those who experienced peer difficulties. These results underline the need to intervene early and persistently, and to target the child and the peer context to prevent peer difficulties and their consequences.