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

older mother and daughter pair
What are some of the genetic 'gifts' I've inherited from my mother??

For some, it's their greatest fear come true. For others, it's been a long road of admittance and acceptance. But at some point in every woman's life, she asks the age-old question: Am I turning into my mother?

Even if you're the spitting image of your father, there are certain genetic "gifts" you can inherit from your mother. In fact, your mother's genetic code can dictate everything from your bra size to your risk of migraines.


Read on to learn which characteristics you can inherit from your mother, and whether or not you're already displaying them...

Body Shape

body types
It's important to remember that it is never too late to change your body.

If your mom is pear- or apple-shaped, are you destined to inherit her body shape? The answer is, well, complicated. Research in this field is still emerging, but what we know is that bone structure, frame size and muscle mass are inherited. Studies also show that up to 80 percent of body fat is regulated by your DNA.

Apple-shaped people, those who carry weight around their middle, are more likely to get that from their parents than their pear- or boy-shaped counterparts.


But here's the good news: While you may be predisposed to having a larger or rounder body, it is in your control to eat healthy and exercise. You may even be able to slightly change the shape of your body through weight training, running, and other activities. Also, take pride in the fact that younger generations are reaping the benefits of Title IX, which increased women's sports teams. We lead more active lifestyles than our mothers, and our daughters may be more active than us!

The bottom line: Genes dictate how your body evolves, but adopting a healthy lifestyle and building muscle can minimize a widening waistline.


Migraines, Menstruation and More

Mega Migraine Quiz
Migraines may be genetic.

The woman who provides half of your genetic makeup can also provide some insight to future health concerns.

You and your mother share similar bodies and will experience similar milestones. Think about this: There's a 57 percent chance that a girl will start menstruating within three months of when her mother started her period, according to the Institute of Cancer Research at the University of London.


And it doesn't stop there. If your mother suffered from migraines, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's and a slew of other health concerns, you may also be at risk. Don't be afraid to ask your mom about her health -- the information she provides may help you take the steps to prevent a similar fate.


am i turning into my mother
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.


A Strong Sense of Control

am i turning into my mother
The results of a controlling parent indicate that you too, will be controlling as an adult.

Similar to temper, it's very possible to inherit your mother's strong sense or need for control. Especially if you grew up in a household where you always had to check in, had a curfew and weren't allowed to participate in nearly as many activities as your friends, it's likely that you, too, will be also want to be in control.

Recent studies on twins have shown that identical twins, those sharing a similar genetic makeup, had much more similar scores on measures of perfectionism than fraternal twins. This suggests that perfectionism (and a strong sense of control) may be genetic in nature.


Likewise, if you grew up in a very care-free environment with limited boundaries, you may have a very free-spirited view of the world.

Widow's Peak

example of celebrity with a widows peak
The best looking Widow's Peak we've ever seen...
Frank Trapper/Corbis

The Widow's Peak hairline is one of the best indicators of basic genetic inheritance. According to research by the University of Utah's Genetic Science Learning Center, only one of your parents has to have the dominant allele in order for you to inherit a Widow's Peak (or a lower, V-shaped hairline). So that means if mom is a Marilyn Monroe look-alike (whose gorgeous, long blonde locks also stemmed from a Widow's Peak) then you, too, will don this classic look.

But just think: If Leo DiCaprio and Blake Lively can work one, you can, too!


Lots More Information

Related Articles:


  • "10 Human Genetic Traits of Simple Inheritance: Which Do You Have?" 10 Human Genetic Traits of Simple Inheritance: Which Do You Have? Suite 101 Magazine, Apr. 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
  • "Any Ladies with a Cleft Chin?" AfterEllen, 4 Feb. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
  • Arnold, Paul. "What Causes Cleft Chin? Overview of the Genetics of a Prominent Facial Characteristic." Bright Hub. Bright Hub, 9 Sept. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
  • Jones, Jessica W., MD, MPH. "Brain Slowdown Is the Source of Elderly Wisdom | Psych Central News." Psych The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 25 June 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
  • Record, Michael. "7 Scientific Reasons You'll Turn Out Just Like Your Parents." Cracked, 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
  • Renkl, Margaret. "INHERITED TRAITS." Women's Health Magazine, Jan. 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
  • Wong, Mae. "Personality Traits You May Have Inherited from Your Parents." Yahoo! Contributor Network. Yahoo! Voices, 14 Sept. 2010. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.
  • "The biological basis of anger: associations with the gene coding for DARPP-32 (PPP1R1B) and with amygdala volume" National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 03 May 2013.
  • "Inherited Human Traits: A Quick Reference." Http:// University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center, 2008. Web. 3 May 2013.