Sociocultural influences in genetic designs of aging: unexplored perspectives.
As the aging population continues to become more diverse, there is growing interest in understanding the similar and unique aspects of aging within and across people of different ethnic groups. The impact of culture on the sources of variation identified in quantitative genetic approaches has not been well discussed in the literature. The purpose of this paper is to review previous research pertinent to the cultural aspects of quantitative genetic approaches and methodologies, and provide conceptual and statistical approaches for advancing the science. To meet this objective, results from previously published studies as well as preliminary data analyses from the Carolina African American Twin Study of Aging will be presented. There are three themes to draw from the issues discussed in this paper: (1) avoiding genetic reductionism, (2) interpreting differential heritabilities, and (3) modeling cultural influences.
Whitfield, KE; Brandon, DT; Wiggins, SA
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