Genetic and environmental causes of covariation in interview assessments of disruptive behavior in child and adolescent twins

Lindon Eaves, Michael Rutter, Judy L. Silberg, Lucinda Shillady, Hermine Maes, Andrew Pickles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Multirater, face-to-face, interview data relating to conduct disorder (CD), oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD), and inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive components of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a population-based sample of 1376 pairs of 8- to 16-year-old MZ and DZ twins are analyzed to examine (1) the genetic and environmental causes of correlation among ratings of ODD and CD symptoms and (2) the pattern of genetic and environmental correlation among the three components of ADHD. Parental ratings of ADHD showed marked sibling contrast effects, specific within raters but partly common across components. After these effects were removed, there was a modest genetic correlation between maternal and paternal ratings, but genetic effects were virtually uncorrelated across boys and girls. Genetic correlations among inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity were all large but fell well short of unity. There was little evidence that counts of symptoms of CD and ODD were genetically independent but the genetic correlations among ratings of twins, mothers, and fathers were all relatively modest. ODD and CD showed much higher genetic correlations across sexes than did the measures of ADHD. There was no evidence of rater contrast effects or of shared family environment influences in the twin resemblance for ODD and CD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)321-334
    Number of pages13
    JournalBehavior Genetics
    Volume30
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

    Keywords

    • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
    • Comorbidity
    • Conduct disorder
    • Disruptive behavior
    • Heterogeneity
    • Oppositional-defiant disorder
    • Sibling contrast
    • Twins

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