Associations of parental cognition, personality, and home environment with offspring cognition and personality

Nagoshi, Craig Tetsuo
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The purpose of the present analyses was to assess the separate, relative, and combined associations of relatively enduring familial influences--parental cognitive abilities and personality traits and aspects of the home environment as reported by parents--with offspring cognitive abilities and personality traits. Data was obtained from the Hawaii Family Study of Cognition (see DeFries et al., 1979; Wilson et al., 1975), in which members of 1816 intact nuclear families (both biological parents and at least one offspring 13 years of age or older) (6581 individuals) completed a battery of cognitive tests yielding a four-factor structure of specific cognitive abilities, as well as a measure of general intelligence. Parents also provided data on certain aspects of the shared (between-family, common to all offspring) home environment, including parental occupation and education, visitors to and relatives in the home, print media and television usage, and the presence of offspring prenatal and developmental problems within the family. A large subset of these families (1554 families (3402 individuals)) also completed a quick personality measure, the Adjective Check List (Gough &Heilbrun, 1965), which was rescored to yield seven personality factors. Data analyses presented herein were confined to families of Caucasian and Japanese ancestries to allow for cross-ethnic group comparisons of the associations between the variables within and across generations. Associations of cognitive abilities, personality factors, and home environment variables (parents only) were assessed within generations, since it could not be assumed that these variable domains were independent of each other or for parents, independent influences on offspring cognition and personality. Significant and consistent (across ethnic groups, generations, and sexes) correlations between certain cognitive abilities and personality traits were obtained. Parental cognitive abilities and personality traits were also found to be significantly and consistently related to parental occupation, education, and media usage. Across-generation correlations indicated that parental cognitive abilities, ACL intraception, occupation, education, and media usage were significantly related to offspring cognitive abilities, particularly verbal ability and general intelligence. Parental variables were found to be mostly inconsistently or not related to offspring ACL factors. The results of multiple regression analyses predicting offspring general intelligence from significantly related parental variables indicated that most of the variation in offspring intelligence was not accounted for by the combined influences of these shared familial (genetic and environmental) factors, while almost none of the variation in offspring personality was accounted for by these shared familial factors. These results were discussed in terms of the effects of measurement error, characteristics of the sample, non-inclusion of important home environment variables, and the influence of non-shared (within-family) familial factors on behavior development.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1984.
Bibliography: leaves [73]-81.
v, 81 leaves, bound 29 cm
Cognition -- Social aspects, Personality -- Social aspects, Children -- Family relationships, Japanese -- Hawaii
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Psychology; no. 1839
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