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April 1977

Parental Style: Mothers' and Fathers' Perceptions of Their Relations With Twin Children

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics, psychiatry, and psychology (Dr Cohen) and the Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, Conn (Dr Cohen and Ms Grawe), and the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Dibble).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(4):445-451. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770160079006

• Mothers and fathers rated their interaction with twin children on the Parent's Report (PR) questionnaire containing two scales—how the parent actually relates and how the ideal parent would relate. Mothers and fathers differed in parental style. Mothers perceived themselves as being profoundly more childcentered; fathers perceived themselves as using more control through arousal of guilt and anxiety. Parents asserted more control through temper and detachment with same-sex children. Boys and girls and monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins did not receive distinctly different parenting. Parents described MZ children as much more similar than DZ children but acted similarly with children in both types of twinships. Parental knowledge of zygosity did not affect the way the parents treated children. These findings suggest the relative importance of genetic contributions to behavioral similarity in MZ twins.

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