Inherited Traits in Children

Inherited Traits in Children

Inherited traits in a child are genetically passed characteristics from their parents.

Power of Inherited Traits

There is no doubt that the formation of the physical and psychological characteristics of a person is inherited from the parents.

According to the principles and laws of genetic study, the power of inherited traits is not absolute, nor is in the proportions that are often assumed. The presence of a particular gene in the cell mass inherited from one of the parents does not guarantee that the characteristic it carries inside will indeed manifest itself in its entirety.

The inborn – inherited traits, during life, are influenced by the environment, but they can not be significantly changed. Nevertheless, they can be emphasized or suppressed, thus completely preventing a certain physical or psychic feature.

The science of inherited traits – genetics, still can not answer with certainty what psychological traits are hereditary and to what extent. In general, the way in which the child expresses its psychic content is inherited, such as aspirations, thoughts, and emotions. They are expressed through mimics, speech, gestures, expressive movements, automatic or semi-conscious actions, and are categorized as psychic motor skills.

Physical Hereditary Traits

Child’s Growth

It is known that a child’s growth largely depends on factors inherited from the parents. Hereditary factors provide only a precondition for growth in order to reach a certain height, but they do not determine it.

Maximum height growth can be achieved only if a person as a child is fed with quality food that has enough animal proteins, vitamins, and mineral salts. If these ingredients are lacking in food, the person will remain with relatively low growth despite the fact that they carry the inherent traits of the parents to be of high growth.

Psychical Hereditary Traits

Child’s Intelligence

The influence of the environment on the manifestation of inherited traits is particularly evident in the example of intelligence. Intelligence is usually hereditary. More people with the same intensity of hereditary intellectual features can develop in their lives a different degree of intellectual success.

If the child develops from the beginning of its life in an environment that encourages its intellect, then the environment gives the stimulus and material for the stimulation of the intelligence and it’s almost certain that it’s developed to the limit of its maximum possibilities.

Contrary to that, if the child’s life in an idle, discouraging, low cultural environment with primitive influence; an environment that does not create conditions for maximum intellectual development. Growing in such an environment causes stagnation of the full potential of the intelligence, that the child brings with itself as an inherited trait.

Also, the negative educational influences and the emotional neglect of the child can hinder its psychic activity so much, that the child in the eyes of others gives the impression that it’s less intelligent than it really is.

Along with intelligence, different preferences for a particular activity and talent for a certain form of creativity also depend on the inherited features.

Child’s Temper

Hereditary properties also have a significant influence on the child’s temper. A temper is a way the psychic apparatus reacts to various external and internal stimuli. Therefore, the vigor – sluggishness, enthusiasm – passivity, impulsiveness – calm are the characteristics of the temper, which are to a large extent hereditary traits in the human person.

There are frequent prejudices about what features are a result of inherited traits in a child. It is usually considered that the character, that is, the attitude of the child towards the environment, its behavior in the community, and the way in which it uses its abilities are inherited. But, of all psychic traits, the character is probably least inherited.

The environment, where the child resides and exists, much more influences its formation. It is precisely the character that is the most important component of the personality. From it – the character – will depend on the social value of the child as an adult, its willingness to constructively cooperate with the community.

When the psycho-hygiene of the environment strives to ensure the healthy development of the young person, then it primarily tries to create a positive character in them, precisely because the development of the character depends largely on the influence of the environment on the child’s psyche. Psycho-hygiene can prevent character deviance or correct it when there is a tendency for deformity.

Child’s Mental Illnesses

Endogenous Psychosis

Out of all deformities in the mental life of a person, the greatest role is taken by the inherited traits and the tendency towards endogenous psychosis. These are severe chronic mental illnesses that occur without particular reasons and without noticeable pathological changes in the brain. Hence the name endogenous, which means they are innate.

The living environment certainly has some share in the occurrence of these diseases, but to a much lesser extent than in the occurrence of other mental illnesses. In the endogenous illnesses are included psycho schizophrenia and manic depressive psychosis, as the most common of all mental illnesses.


Sometimes, hereditary traits contribute to the psychopathic development of the personality. But the psychopathy much or less is developing as a result and under the influence of negative factors in the environment.

However, in the same living conditions, a person with hereditary traits of psychopathic potential will easily and rapidly develop into a seriously ill person, rather than an individual who does not have such inclination, that is, they have not inherited traits as a cause of a psychopathic disease.

In other words, a mentally healthy person must be influenced by much more negative environmental factors that would cause a deformity in the development of their psyche, than it is necessary for a psychological deformation of a person, who in their inherited traits has innate preconditions for a psychopathic disease. If a person is inclined and has a tendency to develop a psychological deformation, the form and time of the manifestation will greatly depend on what kind of environment they develop.

Preventive Measures

When a man and a woman get married and plan to form a family, it is advisable to first consult with a doctor about the possibility of mental illness to occur as a hereditary trait to their children if one or the other partner already suffers from one. If the genetic assessment of the chances of this happening is high, then it is better to not get married to the ultimate goal – procreation. Here, the task of the health services is to organize marriage counseling that will cover the overall medical issues of marriage and to take care of a mentally healthy generation.

If the mother has already become pregnant and if she or the father suffers from some inherited psychological illness, there is still a possibility to terminate the pregnancy, this is permitted with and in consultation of the local legislation and the regulative for eugenic measures.


In the physical formation of a person, the inherited treats have great influence such as clumsy appearance, ugliness, extremely low or too high growth, then deafness, blindness, and other defects.

Such permanent physical defects that can not be removed and the person has inherited them often discourages, deprive the self-confidence, makes people untrustworthy to other people, and pessimistic about life, and these emotional disorders result in various forms of unhealthy behavior in the emotional responses.

The most common psychological disorders, or internal emotional conflicts, are manifested by various neurotic outbursts and they are not inherited by nature. The emergence of neuroticism is a result of constant conflict between the individual and their environment.