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Genetic and Environmental Influences on Perceived Stress in South Korean Twins.

Researchers have proposed that culture significantly influences perceived stress (PS). To date, however, twin studies on PS have been conducted mostly in western, individualistic cultures, which demonstrate that PS due to controllable (personal) life events is more heritable than PS due to uncontrollable (network) life events. This study aimed to investigate genetic and environmental influences on PS in South Korean twins. South Korea practices a dominant collectivist culture. In total, 1372 twin individuals (mean age = 22.4 ± 2.5 years) completed an online survey on PS, which consisted of the scales, Friendship, Academic Stress, Future Career, Family Conflicts, and Family Financial Difficulties (FFD). Friendship, Academic Stress, and Future Career can be considered PS due to personal life events, and Family Conflict and FFD, PS due to network life events. The general sex-limitation model-fitting analysis revealed the absence of qualitative or quantitative sex differences in genetic and environmental influences. Specifically, additive genetic influences were predominant for Friendship (63%), Academic Stress (67%), and Future Career (57%) for both sexes, with the remaining variance attributable to nonshared environmental influences. In contrast, shared environmental influences were largest for Family Conflict (47% for both genders) and FFD (64% for males, 63% for females) with no significant genetic effects. Despite known cultural differences in the means and variances of PS, South Korean twins exhibited significant genetic effects in PS due to personal life events and large shared environmental effects in PS due to network life events, which is similar to western samples.

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