Researchers claim that besides eyes & nose, kids also inherit their parents’ moral characteristics. They have discovered that although parents shape their kids to become responsible & kind adults, there exist a hidden genetics factor which affects these characteristics.
Penn State’s Training Interdisciplinary Educational Scientists Fellow, Amanda Ramos has faith that the research will help to initiate discussion about why & how these traits called as virtuous character grows.
Amanda stated that plenty of research have disclosed connection between these virtuous characteristics & parenting, but they have overlooked genetic element. She thought it was a missed prospect due to the fact that parents share their genes with their kids. They think that parents shaping & teaching their kids these traits may be partly due to genetics.
Research in the past has discovered link between various virtuous qualities such as conscientiousness & social responsibility with civic engagement & well-being. Although school-based mediations have assisted to encourage these characteristics, not always they are successful. She wanted to probe more & discover if genetics will clear the mystery as to why some individuals have these traits & others don’t.
For the purpose of the research, information from over seven hundred pairs of siblings were taken. It includes fraternal & identical twins, siblings in non-divorced & divorced families, half siblings, siblings that are not related, including their parents.
Amanda stated that studying pairs of siblings with a huge range of relatedness helped to find out environmental & genetic factors which affects the characteristics. For instance, identical twins have same DNA, and step-siblings don’t have any genes but they share their house and their environment.
She further explained that if identical twins are more similar compared to fraternal twins, it is presumed that it’s due to genetics. The information of participants were collected first during teens & later in young adulthood. They also measured parents’ positive behavior like appreciation & responsiveness. They also considered negative traits of parents such as arguments & yelling. Research also considered the kid’s responsibility during their teens.
After studying the data, researchers discovered that positive parenting was related with their kids being more responsible, these connections were stronger in siblings who were closely associated.