Beyond the genetic basis of sensation seeking: The influence of birth order, family size and parenting styles
Feij, Jan A,
Taris, Toon W.
- Publisher: West University of Timisoara
Romanian Journal of Applied Psychology
sensation seeking | birth order | parenting styles | longitudinal research | structural equation modeling | Psychology | BF1-990
Genetic analyses of sensation seeking have shown fairly high heritabilities for measures of this trait. However, 40 to 60% of the variance remains unexplained by genetic factors. This longitudinal study examines the influence of characteristics of the family environment -- birth order, family size, socio-economic status and parenting styles -- on two dimensions of sensation seeking: disinhibition and boredom susceptibility. Previous research has shown that these dimensions load on the same factor, are related to biologically based impulsive disorders, and have a common genetic basis. Questionnaire and biographical data obtained from 532 female and 479 male young adults (age between 18 and 30 years) were analyzed using structural modeling. The results show that participants who experienced little parental care and much control were more likely to have high scores on disinhibition and boredom susceptibility. It appears that these family factors may partly explain the previously reported effects of birth order and family size on sensation seeking.