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Parental Reports of Infant and Child Eating Behaviors are not Affected by Their Beliefs About Their Twins’ Zygosity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Moritz Herle, Alison Fildes, Cornelia van Jaarsveld, Fruhling Rijsdijk, Clare H. Llewellyn

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Genetics
Early online date12 Jul 2016
Accepted/In press15 Jun 2016
E-pub ahead of print12 Jul 2016


King's Authors


Parental perception of zygosity might bias heritability estimates derived from parent rated twin data. This is the first study to examine if similarities in parental reports of their young twins’ behavior were biased by beliefs about their zygosity. Data were from Gemini, a British birth cohort of 2402 twins born in 2007. Zygosity was assessed twice, using both DNA and a validated parent report questionnaire at 8 (SD = 2.1) and 29 months (SD = 3.3). 220/731 (8 months) and 119/453 (29 months) monozygotic (MZ) pairs were misclassified as dizygotic (DZ) by parents; whereas only 6/797 (8 months) and 2/445 (29 months) DZ pairs were misclassified as MZ. Intraclass correlations for parent reported eating behaviors (four measured at 8 months; five at 16 months) were of the same magnitude for correctly classified and misclassified MZ pairs, suggesting that parental zygosity perception does not influence reporting on eating behaviors of their young twins.

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