• Research Paper on:
    Twin Studies, Genetics and Critical Issues

    Number of Pages: 10


    Summary of the research paper:

    This 10 page research paper offers a literature review addresses a variety of topics that are considered critical to mental health practice and that pertain to contemporary psychiatric research, focusing on issues that are associated with genetics and the importance and role of twin studies. Bibliography lists 20 sources.

    Name of Research Paper File: KL9_khtwinst.doc

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    associated with genetics and the importance and role of twin studies. Equal environments assumption studies of monozygotic twins The equal environments assumption (EEA) is a foundational assumption of research  conducted with both monozygotic (MZ) twins, that is, twins who are genetically identical, and dizygotic (DZ), that is, fraternal twins (Joseph, 2010b). During the 1920, the twin method of research  was developed, which involves comparing trait similarities of MZ twins that are reared together with the trait similarities of DZ same-sex twin pairs who are reared together (Joseph, 2010a). The  EEA holds that twins who are raised together have childhood and adult environments that are comparable. In other words, the EEA maintains that MZ and DZ experience environments that  can be equally correlated in terms of etiological significance (Eriksson, Rasmussen and Tynelius, 2006). The EEA holds that increased behavioral or attitude similarities between MZ twins as compared to DZ  twins can be attributed to genetic similarity (Joseph, 2010b). The validity of the EEA is a crucial issue in regards to twin studies. As Alford and colleagues, in 2005, the  idea that the influence of genetics is measurably different for MZ and DZ twins, when the environment for the twins is relatively equivalent, is critical to the entirety of  twin research (Joseph, 2010b). However, the EEA is controversial because it posits that the same environment and psychological bonds, as well as "roughly the same social, treatment, and physical  environments," exist for twin pairs (Joseph, 2010a, p. 565). Studies utilizing the twin method provide the most often cited empirical evidence that supports the influence of genetic inheritance in the  development of "psychological traits and psychiatric disorders" (Joseph, 2010a, p. 566). Validity of the equal environments assumption The validity is considered crucial to twin research (Mitchell, et al, 2007). 

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