Springer, Behavior Genetics, 3(51), p. 191-203, 2021
AbstractThe distinction between genetic influences on the covariance (or bivariate heritability) and genetic correlations in bivariate twin models is often not well-understood or only one is reported while the results show distinctive information about the relation between traits. We applied bivariate twin models in a large sample of adolescent twins, to disentangle the association between well-being (WB) and four complex traits (optimism, anxious-depressed symptoms (AD), aggressive behaviour (AGG), and educational achievement (EA)). Optimism and AD showed respectively a strong positive and negative phenotypic correlation with WB, the negative correlation of WB and AGG is lower and the correlation with EA is nearly zero. All four traits showed a large genetic contribution to the covariance with well-being. The genetic correlations of well-being with optimism and AD are strong and smaller for AGG and EA. We used the results of the models to explain what information is retrieved based on the bivariate heritability versus the genetic correlations and the (clinical) implications.