Heritability Estimates of Karen Horney’s Core Neurotic Trends in a Young Adult Twin Sample


Objective: The purpose of the present study was to explore the heritability of psychoanalyst Karen Horney’s three core neurotic trends (i.e., compliance, aggression, and detachment) in a twin paradigm to evaluate the validity of her theoretically assumed origins of neuroses. Method: Data were collected from 168 adult participants (M age = 21.54 years; range = 18 - 25 years) including 60 monozygotic twin pairs (10 male pairs and 50 female pairs) and 24 dizygotic twin pairs (4 male pairs and 20 female pairs). Participants completed the 57-item Horney-Coolidge Tridimensional Inventory (HCTI). Results: The best fitting model for compliance and detachment included additive genetic and nonshared environmental influences. For aggression, phenotypic variance was completely traced back to shared and nonshared environmental influences. Conclusions: The results are discussed in light of Horney’s hypotheses for the genesis of neurotic trends as well as findings from behavioral genetic research.

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Coolidge, F. , Segal, D. , Estey, A. , Spinath, F. , Hahn, E. and Gottschling, J. (2015) Heritability Estimates of Karen Horney’s Core Neurotic Trends in a Young Adult Twin Sample. Psychology, 6, 2013-2024. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.615199.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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