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Twin Res Hum Genet. 2005 Feb;8(1):69-75.

Genetic and environmental influences on stuttering and tics in Japanese twin children.

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  • 1Department of Health Science, Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University, Kahoku, Ishikawa, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to clarify the genetic contribution to stuttering and tics in childhood using the largest databases of Japanese twins. The subjects were 1896 pairs of twin children consisting of 1849 males and 1943 females with a mean age of 11.6 years (3 years to 15 years). All data were gathered by questionnaire. The prevalence of stuttering was 6.7% in males and 3.6% in females (p < .0001). The prevalence of tics was 6.8% in males and 4.1% in females (p = .0021). Concordance rates and polychoric correlations were all higher in monozygotic pairs than in dizygotic pairs irrespective of sex combination. Structural equation modeling showed that the proportion of total phenotypic variance attributable to genetic influences was 80% in males and 85% in females for stuttering, and 28% in males and 29% in females for tics. Moreover, co-occurrence between stuttering and tics was observed in 0.8% of males (tetrachoric correlation: r = .18) and 0.5% of females (r = .31), which was attributed partly (nearly 10% of total genetic variance of each trait) to the common genetic factors, with genetic correlation of r = .32.

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