If some children seem like they were born to be bad, new research suggests it may be true.
In a study of adult twins and their children, researchers found that genes, rather than parents' own argumentative behavior, seemed key in the children's odds of serious conduct problems -- like bullying, skipping school and shoplifting.
The findings, published in the journal Child Development, touch on the classic nature-versus-nurture question.
In the case of child behavior, research has linked parents' marital conflicts to long-term, serious conduct problems in their children. However, it has been unclear whether that means that marital woes themselves cause the behavioral problems.
The new findings suggest it's more a matter of genes. That is, parents who are naturally argumentative pass on these traits to their kids.
"Marital conflict doesn't appear, in this study, to cause stable patterns of conduct disorder," explained lead study author K. Paige Harden of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
"Rather, marital conflict is influenced by parents' own characteristics -- including their genes -- and these genes are passed on to children," she told...