Personality Correlations Between Mothers and their Biological Children
Palmer, Daniel T.
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Research conducted on the parent and child personality relationship has suggested that genetics play a larger role than the environment. The current study investigates the personality relationship between children and their biological mothers in the Mid-Michigan community. Children underwent a laboratory assessment of their personalities. They measured temperament traits based off of the emotions elicited during each task they participated in. Results of the child laboratory assessment were then correlated with their biological mothers’ results of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief Form. If genetics have the greatest effect in shaping a child’s personality then their personalities should be very similar to their biological parents. If personalities are different between children and their biological mothers then perhaps environmental factors play a larger role in shaping personality than once thought. Even though genetics do appear to have the greatest effect in the personality relationship between children and their biological parents, I still believe that there will not be similarities in personality, perhaps, due to environmental effects such as how children were raised, attention, religion affiliation, socioeconomic status, etc... Results suggest that there are no resemblances between the personalities of children and their biological mothers. Correlations were conducted between the mother’s higher-order dimensions assessed in the MPQ-BF and the child’s traits assessed in the lab that most resembled each other. The only significant correlation was between the mother’s negative emotionality and the children’s sadness and anger. Further correlations were conducted with the same child traits that were similar with the mother’s individual categories of higher-order dimensions. Few significant correlations were found (mother’s achievement, child initiative; mother’s social closeness, child activity; mother’s stress reaction, child sadness) indicating a uniqueness of personalities among genetically related individuals.