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Extensions to pedigree analysis part 3 variance components by the scoring method

, : Extensions to pedigree analysis part 3 variance components by the scoring method. Annals of Human Genetics 39(4): 485-491

The classic variance components for simple polygenic traits, additive, dominance and environmental variance are traditionally estimated from sample covariances between 1st-degree relatives. If data is gathered on pedigrees, this statistical procedure wastes information. An alternative likelihood procedure that uses all the information in a set of pedigrees was developed. A refinement of this method based on the scoring technique gives rapidly converging maximum likelihood estimates of the variance components and of the male and female means. Tests of statistical hypotheses about the various parameters can then be made by the likelihood ratio method. Using classical regression analysis, the estimated parameter values allow prediction of unknown trait values from known trait values within a pedigree. These methods should apply to traits like total finger ridge count and quantitative measurements associated with disease traits. Since the model postulates independent environmental effects and no assortative mating, its utility in human behavior genetics seems limited.

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