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Psychol Med. 2002 Jan;32(1):39-53.

Genetic effects on the variation and covariation of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional-defiant disorder/conduct disorder (Odd/CD) symptomatologies across informant and occasion of measurement.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0583, USA.

Erratum in

  • Psychol Med 2002 Feb;32(2):378.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies have shown that the presence of conduct disorder may contribute to the persistence of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology into adolescence; however, the aetiological relationship between the two phenotypes remains undetermined. Furthermore, studies utilizing multiple informants have indicated that teacher ratings of these phenotypes are more valid than maternal reports.

METHODS:

The genetic structure underlying the persistence of ADHD and oppositional-defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) symptomatologies as rated by mothers and teachers at two occasions of measurement was investigated on a sample of 494 male and 603 female same sex adolescent twin pairs participating in the Virginia Twin Study of Adolescent Behavioral Development (VTSABD).

RESULTS:

Using structural modelling techniques, one common genetic factor was shown to govern the covariation between the phenotypes across informants and occasion of measurement with additional genetic factors specific to ODD/CD symptomatology and persistence of symptomatology at reassessment. Genetic structures underlying the phenotypes were, to some extent, informant dependent.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings indicate that it is unlikely that the co-morbidity between ADHD and ODD/CD is due to environmental influences that are independent of ADHD. Rather it is likely to be due to a shared genetic liability either operating directly, or indirectly through gene-environment correlations or interactions. The covariation between phenotypes across informants and time is governed by a common set of genes, but it seems that ODD/CD is also influenced by additional genetic factors. Developmentally, different forms of genetic liability control ADHD in males and inattention in females.

PMID:
11883729
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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