Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Am I Turning into my Mother? 5 Traits You Inherit from Mom

        Health | Parenting

Temperament
Anger is something that is both learned and inherited.
Anger is something that is both learned and inherited.
Image Source

Your mother's hot temper (or calm, rational way of handling things) is something that's passed down to you as well as learned. Your temperament is affected by both nature, your DNA makeup, and nurture, your personal experiences. But new studies indicate that genetics may play a larger role in determining how you will behave in certain situations than we once thought.

For example, researchers found that for those suffering from depression, roughly 50 percent of the cause is genetic and the corresponding 50 percent is the result of psychological and/or physical factors. On a broader spectrum, these same scientists also found that DNA differences account for anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of temperament deviations within a given population. While that's a wide range, the median fell somewhere in the middle, indicating that the average nature-nurture ratio is 50-50.

However, individuals who carry a specific type of allele, or alternative form of a gene, are far more likely to be angry than those without this allele, according to a German study published in the Journal Behavioural Brain Research. Combine a genetic predisposition with parents who screamed and fought in front of you as a kid, and chances are that you'll exhibit this behavior, too.

So if you recognize some of the symptoms of irrational anger or depression, talk to your parents about what their triggers are, and if it becomes really serious, try contacting a trained professional and consider behavioral therapy.


More to Explore