We used a classical twin design and measures of neighborhood walkability and social deprivation, using each twin’s street address, to examine genetic and environmental influences on the residential location of 1389 same-sex pairs from a US community-based twin registry. Within-pair correlations and structural equation models estimated these influences on walkability among younger (ages 18-24.9) and older (ages 25+) twins. Adjusting for social deprivation, walkability of residential location was primarily influenced by common environment with lesser contributions of unique environment and genetic factors among younger twins, while unique environment most strongly influenced walkability, with small genetic and common environment effects, among older twins. Thus, minimal variance in walkability was explained by shared genetic effects in younger and older twins, and confirms the importance of environmental factors in walkability of residential locations.
Genetic and environmental influences on residential location in the US. Health Place. 2012; 18(3):515-9.