Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
Inherited traits are genetic traits passed down through families, from parent to child, one generation to the next. Inherited traits may be physical or emotional, and may reflect anything from eye color to personality to physical health. Knowing more about our inherited traits helps us know more about ourselves. There is much debate over how much of who we are is by nature (genetic) or nurture (environment), and both contribute significantly to our complete makeup. However, becoming more familiar with specific inherited traits, in particular physical health, can help in making life choices.
Conducting genealogy research, gathering family history, and gathering a family health history can help us identify inherited traits. A genogram can be used to track inherited traits and pick up on important patterns.