We examined whether effortful control (EC), a temperament proposed by Rothbart and Bates (1998), has genetically coherent structure. A self-report measure of EC was administered to 450 Japanese twins (151 males and 299 females, ages 17 to 32 years) including 152 monozygotic and 73 dizygotic pairs. Univariate genetic analysis revealed that AE model fit best for the total EC as well as its subscales. The heritability estimate for total EC was 49%, and the estimates for subscales ranged between 32% and 45%. Multivariate genetic analysis revealed that the subscales of EC were genetically correlated to a high degree and environmentally correlated to a moderate degree. These results suggest that EC has substantial genetic basis and genetically coherent structure, supporting the validity of the construct. The implications to molecular genetic study and study of psychopathology were discussed.
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