In 1918, Fisher suggested that his research team had consistently found inflated cousin correlations. He also commented that because a cousin sample with minimal selection bias was not available the cause of the inflation could not be addressed, leaving this inflation as a challenge still to be solved. In the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (the NLSY79, the NLSY97, and the NLSY-Children/Young Adult datasets), there are thousands of available cousin pairs. Those in the NLSYC/YA are obtained approximately without selection. In this paper, we address Fisher’s challenge using these data. Further, we also evaluate the possibility of fitting ACE models using only cousin pairs, including full cousins, half-cousins, and quarter-cousins. To have any chance at success in such a restricted kinship domain requires an available and highly-reliable phenotype; we use adult height in our analysis. Results provide a possible answer to Fisher’s challenge, and demonstrate the potential for using cousin pairs in a stand-alone analysis (as well as in combination with other biometrical designs).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics