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p. 343. Nature or nurture?locked

  • Daniel Freeman
  •  and Jason Freeman

Abstract

Do we inherit anxiety through our genes, or learn it from those closest to us? ‘Nature or nurture?’ looks at the evidence. Twin adoption studies point to a genetic influence, but researchers have failed to find a single gene responsible for anxiety, suggesting that a complex interaction of genes and environment causes anxiety. The polygenic theory indicates that several genes are involved in the generation and maintenance of anxiety. Genes are responsible for 40% of heritability and a tendency towards a high level of anxiety rather than a specific disorder. Research into childhood experiences — focussing on trauma, parenting, and learning from others — considers the likelihood of developing anxiety disorders.

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