PRIVATE ENVIRONMENT AND THE ABILITY TO DRAW AT AN EARLY AGE: A STUDY OF DIFFERENCES IN MONOZYGOTIC TWINS
M. Malanchini1,2, I.D.Voronina3, E.L. Soldatova4, E.M. Maslennikova4, S.B. Malyh3, Yu.V. Kovas1,2,3,5
1 Goldsmiths, University of London, UK;
2 National Research Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia,
3 Psychological Institute of RAE, Moscow, Russia,
4 South-Ural State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia;
5 MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King's College London, UK
The present study used data from a large sample of monozygotic twins to explore whether differences in aspects of parenting causally contributed to individual differences in drawing ability. The MZ-differences design was applied to assess whether differences in parenting for the two twins (differential parenting) existed and whether these differences were related to the differences in early human figure drawing. Because MZ twins are genetically identical, any such association would be due to environmental, rather than genetic transmission. Four measures of differential parenting were considered: negative parental feeling, positive parental feeling, instructive parent-child communication and informal parent-child communication. Parental feeling and instructive parent-child communication, measured when the twins were 4 years old, were associated with human figure drawing ability at the same age, as well as six months later. However effect sizes of these associations were small. General cognitive ability (g) mediated the observed relationships between differential parent-child communication and drawing ability. Overall, the results suggest that differential parenting explained very little variance in drawing ability, and that more research is needed to identify the non-shared environmental factors implicated in individual differences in early drawing performance.
Keywords: non-shared environment, drawing ability, early ontogenesis, monozygotic twins.