Various fields of study have long deliberated about the relevance of genetics and heredity in predicting myriad aspects of peoples’ lives, from medical and mental health to career choices. Science has come a long way in identifying specific genetic markers for certain diseases and health conditions, and even then, heredity does not always mean a 100% accurately predictable diagnosis. Sometimes, a strongly heritable condition can be prevented or mitigated by changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise. In psychology, there is some evidence to suggest that individuals are slightly more vulnerable to mental health problems if their parents have struggled with mental health, and there are various behavioral, lifestyle, personality, spiritual/religious, and other contextual variables that can change the course for many people. Socially and professionally, many people grapple with the impact of their parents’ relationships and career paths when setting out to make these choices for themselves, and they don’t always follow in their parents’ footsteps.
top of page