- Quality of Life & Wellness
Heredity or Environment, Which affects a person more?
The Family Line
How do Genetics affect us ?
Our parents each contribute an equal number of chromosomes to each child, 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 chromosomes from the mother. Although this seems simple enough, it is not. Shared species heritability through biological evolution explains how humans develop similarly.
Genes are responsible for eye color, hair color, skin tone, gender and some genetic disorders as well, like cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, huntington's disease and sickle-cell disease. Physical and physiological characteristics are strongly associated and influenced by genes, while personality, atitudes and traits like security of attachment and creativity are not.
Does Family Have A Role?
The answer is not so simple as one or the other. Families are an important part of our development, arguably the most important part of our development. Humans after all are social beings, we are taught through social interactions with family, school and community.
Developmental theorists might say our greatest teacher is our family. We learn habits, we learn the roots of our culture and to a large extent our identity comes out of our roles and responsibilities within our family.
A family experiencing generational poverty will provide an environment completely opposite to that of a moderately successful middle class family. Impoverished families generally lack the same level of education, access to resources such as health care and have limited income potential. Middle class families are typically better educated, have access to a variety of resources and often have higher income potential.
Middle class families tend to be better equipped to support children and thereby create a developmental advantage over impoverished children.
What role does environment play?
Environment influances affect everyone from the beginning of life. Language accusition, habits and more are developed through social interactions. Additionally where you live influences developmental outcomes, health and lifestyle to a large extent.
A complex interaction between genetic influences and enviornmental experiences
OBESITY: Genetic or Enviornmental
Obesity and Environment
Over the past 20 years Americans have become fatter and fatter with over 60% of American men and women considered over weight to obese. This phenomenon is a result of unhealthy nutrition and lack of exercise. The abundance of over processed unhealthy foods combined with sedentary lifestyles create the perfect storm of environmental influence resulting in unhealthy affects for many Americans.
It is possible to overcome the affects of genetics. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder, but as the video shows many who are affected by down syndrome live happy and productive lives. While it is not always possible to overcome the affects of genetics, my experiences tell me that those who choose to approach their disorders in positive ways can make the best of a bad situation.
WHERE DO YOU STAND
Do you believe it is possible to overcome genetic affects?
The bottem line is that both affect us positvely and negatively. Our environment does affect our ability to cope with life's difficulties,environment affects our health and happiness. We are able to overcome physical and mental challenges with proper supports from our families, friends and communities.
Conversely our environment can play a negative role in our ability to remain healthy and productive some enviornments produce stress while others are ecologicly unfriendly producing health risks.
The degree to which each of us is affected is measured in large part by the cards we are delt, the enviornments we live in and the choices me make.