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The influences of family environment on personality traits

by Kazuhisa Nakao, Jyo Takaishi, Kenji Tatsuta, Hisanori Katayama, Madoka Iwase, Kazuhiro Yorifuji, Masatoshi Takeda
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences ()

Abstract

In order to clarify the influences of family environment on the development of personality traits, 150 children (104 males and 46 females, mean age 13.2 +/- 2.4 years) who had been interviewed at the Child Guidance Clinic in Osaka were investigated. From 13 behavioral characteristics (activity, talkativeness, sociability, social skills, rule-keeping, will, aggression, emotional control, imagination, anxiety, maturity, intelligence, and neuroticism), factor analysis identified three personality traits: extraversion, maturity, and intellect. The effects of family environment (maternal and paternal participation in child rearing before and after 4years of age, child-rearing style, parental relationship, sibling relationship, number of siblings, birth order, and socioeconomic status) on these personality traits were examined based on a structural equation model. The results found, first, that extraversion was negatively associated with overprotection/interference and with maternal participation in child rearing. Maturity correlated with high socioeconomic status, appropriate child-rearing style, and paternal participation in child rearing. Intellect was related to high socioeconomic status and maternal participation in child rearing. Second, path analysis with selected variables revealed that 8% of variance in extraversion, 14% in maturity, and 10% in intellect was due to family environment. Third, children with high introversion or high intellect had stronger influences from family environment than did those with high extraversion or low intellect.

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