Behaviors, traits and characteristics are transmitted from parents to offspring because of complex genetic and non-genetic processes. We review genetic and non-genetic mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of psychopathology and parenting and focus on recent methodological advances in disentangling genetic and non-genetic factors. In light of this review, we propose that future studies on intergenerational transmission should aim to disentangle genetic and non-genetic transmission, take a long-term longitudinal perspective, and focus on paternal and maternal intergenerational transmission. We present four large longitudinal cohort studies within the Consortium on Individual Development, which together address many of these methodological challenges. These four cohort studies aim to examine the extent to which genetic and non-genetic transmission from the parental generation shapes parenting behavior and psychopathology in the next generation, as well as the extent to which self-regulation and social competence mediate this transmission. Conjointly, these four cohorts provide a comprehensive approach to the study of intergenerational transmission.

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Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Branje, S. (Susan), Geeraert, S. B., de Zeeuw, E., Oerlemans, A.M. (Anoek M.), Koopman-Verhoeff, E., Schulz, S. (Susanne), … Boomsma, D. (2020). Intergenerational transmission: Theoretical and methodological issues and an introduction to four Dutch cohorts. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (Vol. 45). doi:10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100835