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Person-Specific Non-shared Environmental Influences in Intra-individual Variability: A Preliminary Case of Daily School Feelings in Monozygotic Twins

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  • Yao Zheng
  • Peter C M Molenaar
  • Rosalind Arden
  • Kathryn Asbury
  • David M Almeida


Publication details

JournalBehavior genetics
DateAccepted/In press - 25 Mar 2016
DatePublished (current) - 4 Apr 2016
Issue number5
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)705-717
Original languageEnglish


Most behavioural genetic studies focus on genetic and environmental influences on inter-individual phenotypic differences at the population level. The growing collection of intensive longitudinal data in social and behavioural science offers a unique opportunity to examine genetic and environmental influences on intra-individual phenotypic variability at the individual level. The current study introduces a novel idiographic approach and one novel method to investigate genetic and environmental influences on intra-individual variability by a simple empirical demonstration. Person-specific non-shared environmental influences on intra-individual variability of daily school feelings were estimated using time series data from twenty-one pairs of monozygotic twins (age = 10 years, 16 female pairs) over two consecutive weeks. Results showed substantial inter-individual heterogeneity in person-specific non-shared environmental influences. The current study represents a first step in investigating environmental influences on intra-individual variability with an idiographic approach, and provides implications for future behavioural genetic studies to examine developmental processes from a microscopic angle.

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2016

    Research areas

  • Daily diary data, Developmental processes, Idiographic approach, Intra-individual variability, Non-shared environmental influences, Person-specific

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