Genetic and environmental influences on disgust proneness, contamination sensitivity, and their covariance

Joshua Tybur*, Laura Wesseldijk, Patrik Jern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dozens of studies have indicated that individuals more prone to experiencing disgust have stronger symptoms of anxiety disorders—especially contamination sensitivity. However, no work has informed the degree to which this relationship arises from genetic factors versus environmental factors. In the present study, we fill this gap by measuring disgust proneness and contamination sensitivity in a sample of 7,199 twins and siblings of twins, including 1,411 complete twin pairs. Disgust proneness was related to contamination sensitivity, r = .32. Multivariate twin modeling revealed that genetic factors accounted for 34% and 40% of the variance in disgust proneness and contamination sensitivity, respectively, and that the correlation between the two traits reflected overlapping genetic (54%) and unshared environmental (46%)—but not shared environmental—influences. Although consistent with work indicating that disgust proneness relates to contamination sensitivity, results suggest that prevailing parental-modeling hypotheses for explaining this relationship be reevaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1061
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic and environmental influences on disgust proneness, contamination sensitivity, and their covariance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this