Au Psy492 M6 A2 Mc Graw C


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Au Psy492 M6 A2 Mc Graw C

  1. 1. Review Paper 1 Running Head: REVIEW PAPER Cynthia McGraw Psy 492 Advanced General Psychology Dr. Rawley Argosy University Spring II 2010 Abstract This paper questions if women pick their partners based on genetic or environmental traits. Overall the results find that both genetic and environmental influence help women choose their partners. Both of them impact one another, but environmental influences usually over come the genetic influences. This
  2. 2. Review Paper 2 paper also discusses various things that impact the relationship of married couples and their downfalls. It concludes with the justification of why this topic is important to our society. Review Paper The topic of interest asked, do women pick their partners based on observation, or is it inevitable they pick them because of their inherited genes? It is said that the mate a woman chooses has the same characteristics as her father because of their observation of them when growing up. Their father is a part of their environment that they learned from and they mentally imprint on their father’s characteristics; they end up thinking that is how their partner is supposed to be like and it becomes the norm for them.
  3. 3. Review Paper 3 This topic is important because if we figure out why and how we pick our partners, we can do so successfully. The divorce rate would more than likely decrease dramatically. As of 2001, “fifty percent of first marriages end in separation and divorce within the first twenty years” (Ortega & Cordova, 2001). Therefore, when we figure out what affects us to choose the partners we do, we can control them through therapy that is based on that and our families won’t have to be affected by it: especially our children. Children get hit the worst by divorce. It can lead to social problems that will follow them for the rest of their lives. When I thought about that study, I thought that maybe genetics could play a significant role in it as well as environmental observation. For example, a mother has the genes of an extraverted personality and she was attracted to the father, who was an introvert, because he brought out her personality more than an extraverted person would. Their daughter would more than likely inherit the mother’s extravert personality genes; therefore, she would find a spouse like her father who is an introvert. Environmental factors could influence the behaviors of the daughter; the behaviors could increase due to the observation of the mother’s behaviors. There are different types of environmental influences that affect behaviors. First, of all our environment is our physical and psychological surroundings. It is what we do, what we interact with, and the social and emotional climate of it. One of the types of environmental influences is shared environmental influences. These are “nongenetic influences that make family members similar…” (Spotts et al., 2005). An example of this would be the origination of a family, culture, and the relationship of the family members. The other type of environmental influence is nonshared environmental influences, which are influences that “make family members different from each other…” (Spotts et al., 2005). According to Johnson, “any given environment may have different effects on individuals who differ genetically, and genetic differences among individuals may create differences in the environment to which individuals are exposed” (Johnson, 2007). That is, since everyone is
  4. 4. Review Paper 4 genetically different, everyone is going to interpret their environment differently. This could be why women choose different spouses than one another. Also, since everyone is different they also have different nonshared environmental influences. Everyone has different types of friends, jobs, and experiences; this is another reason why every woman’s spouse differs from one another. Jacobson and Rowe (1999) found that “genetic influences were stronger for female adolescents than for male adolescents”. They may be stronger for females because of biological differences such as hormones. All of the research found that the genetic factors were the factors that could “be altered by environmental interventions” (Anastasi, 1973), such as therapy, counseling, medical treatment, and so on. Environment formed characteristics are the ones that are harder to change. A good example of this is the saying, “you can take a country girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl”. It is hard to change the environment from which you cam from. It can change little by little, but it is still hard to change, even with therapy. This is why research finds that environmental factors influence how a woman chooses her spouse; a woman chooses her spouse based on the norm of her environment. Research also tells us that genes initially influence a woman’s decision on choosing a spouse, and then their environmental influences enhance the decision making by bringing out the genetic characteristics. According to Spotts et al. (2005) “genetically influenced characteristics influence…“children “to seek out a compatible environment, perhaps by seeking out the parent who is more compatible with his or her positive behavior”. Therefore, women look for characteristics in their spouses that bring out their desired behaviors such as in the example given; the daughter will more than likely chose an introvert just like her mother did not only because of the genetic characteristics her mothers passed to her, but because introvert personalities are more compatible with her behavior. Women‘s behaviors provoke a certain reaction from her partner: if the reaction is a desired reaction the woman will be more satisfied. According to Spotts et al. (2004) “either the wife sought out a
  5. 5. Review Paper 5 husband with particular characteristics based on her genetically influenced characteristics, or her genetically influenced characteristics influence the tone of the marriage in such a way to color the husband‘s perceptions“. Therefore, the woman may seek out a spouse that shares “similar views, or she could also be evoking responses in her husband that are similar to her own” (Spotts et al., 2004). So, the woman’s perception of their marriage is influenced by genetic factors and she finds the spouse based on if they relate with her genetically influenced characteristics; the woman’s genes are trying to bring out a certain response from her partner. “Marital quality has been shown to be modestly heritable” (Spotts et al., 2005). The woman’s genetic influences are known to influence the husband’s marital quality. They are “an important source of nonshared environmental influences” (Spotts et al., 2005) because they are usually the main source of the wife’s social support. The wife’s tend of social support is more than likely to be inherited rather than learned through her environment. On the other hand, her marital quality is likely to be learned through her environment. It is known that genes contribute to mental illnesses, which can affect the quality of relationships. Genetic influences affect behavioral problems and temperament more than environmental influences do. Since we have learned that we can control our genetic influences by various types of therapy, we can change our relationships to more positive ones. The prevailing arguments in each of the literatures are that both environmental and genetic factors influence how women choose their spouses. According to Spotts et al. (2006) “genetic factors influence the choice of a mate, but in the long term, nonshared environmental factors may play a larger role in overall marital quality”. Different environmental influences make the genetic behaviors, such as inherited behaviors, come out either more or less. The influence of both depends upon the ration of the two. For instance, if there is a steady level of environmental influences, then the genetic influences will be greater. Most of the time, environmental influences contribute to decision making more than genetic factors.
  6. 6. Review Paper 6 Divorce is influenced by genetic as well as nonshared environmental factors. Genetic factors are more likely to increase the risk of divorce. Personality genetic traits are included in this: the characteristics of these can be “criticism, contempt, and defensiveness” (South & Krueger, 2008) nonconformity, high positive emotionality, low impulse control and endorsement of traditional values, and extraversion; these characteristics increase the risk of divorce. “Personality characteristics measured at the beginning of a marriage have been found to be predictive of later marital satisfaction and divorce” (Spotts et al., 2004). This means that our individual characteristics stay the same throughout our life span. Those whose characteristics are persistent of this are the ones who are at risk for divorce because of the unwillingness to change those characteristics. It is also revealed that, in women, environmental factors influence their decisions in choosing their partners. When they do have a husband they are less likely to be satisfied with the quality of their relationship with their spouse than men are. This is mainly because their genetic characteristics influence their perception of the marriage. Women’s genotypic-environments make them find a spouse who has about the same genetic influences as she does; this makes a particular response come of the spouse that is wanted from the woman. Therefore, genetic factors is what makes the couples agree more on things and the environmental influences is what makes them see things differently from one another. Genetic influences are more likely to be stronger in females than in males, this could be because of hormonal and endocrine differences. For males, their influences are mainly through their environment. Although environmental influences influence men the most, they can
  7. 7. Review Paper 7 influence women by their environment perceiving them to be something, so they are more than likely to be what their environment sees them to be as. Women are perceived to be warm and relationship-oriented so they are. Men are perceived to be more prone to conflict and studies show that they are. It was found that both men and women both had genetic influences when it came to warmth and conflict in their relationships. All research believes that it is possible to adjust genetic traits to reach better outcomes. Overall, all the literatures found that “genetic factors influence the choice of a mate, but in the long term, nonshared environmental factors may play a larger role in over marital quality” (Spotts et al., 2006). They are what cause the major difference between couples because they are harder to control. Couples who stay together do not have characteristics that are persistent, and “are more flexible and able to go with the environmental flow” (Spotts et al., 2004). One question that was developed was, are we able to control our thoughts, feelings, and emotions? And if so, to what extent? What are ways we can manipulate our environment so that we can have the behaviors we want and become the person each of us wants to be? What kinds of behaviors are more likely to be genetically inherited? I believe that this topic of interest is important because it can “improve treatments of distressed marriages” (Spotts et al., 2006). This can go deeper in making marriages better by identifying the genes that interact with specific environmental situations. When this is identified we can know what genes we can change to get into the kinds of relationships we desire, or if a person is already in a relationship they will know how to change their environment of their genetically inherited behaviors to make their
  8. 8. Review Paper 8 relationship the best it can be. We will also know how to refine treatments and interventions so that we can better help troubled couples. When the research is successful couples will be able to have marriages that will not end up in divorce, which in the end will affect their whole family. Jockin (1996) stated that “children in divorce, particularly boys, are at risk of undercontrolled behavior, a relationship that appears to be mediated by marital conflict”. In the end these children will grow up to have significant problems of their own. Their social lives could end up being disastrous, and they may even end up being divorced themselves. If we find the answers we need, we will be able to change the genetic and/or environmental factors to prevent unsatisfactory relationships and have satisfactory relationships with our spouses for the sake of us and our family’s well being. References Anastasi, A. (1973). ACT research report: Common fallacies about heredity, environment and human behavior. 14. Retrieved from PsycEXTRA database. Harlaar, N., Santtila, P., Björklund, J., Alanko, K., Jern, P., Varjonen, M., et al. (2008). Retrospective
  9. 9. Review Paper 9 reports of parental physical affection and parenting style: A study of Finnish twins. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(4), 605-613. doi:10.1037/0893- 3200.22.3.605. Jacobson, K., & Rowe, D. (1999). Genetic and environmental influences on the relationships between family connectedness, school connectedness, and adolescent depressed mood: Sex differences. Developmental Psychology, 35(4), 926-939. doi:10.1037/0012- 1649.35.4.926. Jocklin, V., McGue, M., & Lykken, D. (1996). Personality and divorce: A genetic analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(2), 288-299. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.71.2.288. Johnson, W. (2007). Genetic and environmental influences on behavior: Capturing all the interplay. Psychological Review, 114(2), 423-440. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.114.2.423. Ortega, S., & Cordova, J. (2009). Measuring adult attachment: An exploratory study investigating the relationships among marital satisfaction, emotion skills, and self- report and observational measures of attachment. 3. Retrieved from PsycEXTRA database. Plomin, R., Loehlin, J., & DeFries, J. (1985). Genetic and environmental components of "environmental" influences. Developmental Psychology, 21(3), 391-402. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.21.3.391. South, S., & Krueger, R. (2008). Marital quality moderates genetic and environmental influences on the internalizing spectrum. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117(4), 826-837. doi:10.1037/a0013499. Spotts, E., Neiderhiser, J., Towers, H., Hansson, K., Lichtenstein, P., Cederblad, M., et al. (2004). Genetic and environmental influences on marital relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 18(1), 107-119. doi:10.1037/0893-3200.18.1.107.
  10. 10. Review Paper 10 Spotts, E., Pederson, N., Neiderhiser, J., Reiss, D., Lichtenstein, P., Hansson, K., et al. (2005). Genetic effects on women's positive mental health: Do marital relationships and social support matter?. Journal of Family Psychology, 19(3), 339-349. doi:10.1037/0893- 3200.19.3.339. Spotts, E., Prescott, C., & Kendler, K. (2006). Examining the origins of gender differences in marital quality: A behavior genetic analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(4), 605- 613. doi:10.1037/0893-3200.20.4.605.