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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2012 May;40(4):543-54. doi: 10.1007/s10802-011-9583-6.

Youth appraisals of inter-parental conflict and genetic and environmental contributions to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: examination of GxE effects in a twin sample.

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Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2012 Oct;40(7):1209.


Identification of gene x environment interactions (GxE) for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a crucial component to understanding the mechanisms underpinning the disorder, as prior work indicates large genetic influences and numerous environmental risk factors. Building on prior research, children's appraisals of self-blame were examined as a psychosocial moderator of latent etiological influences on ADHD via biometric twin models, which provide an omnibus test of GxE while managing the potential confound of gene-environment correlation. Participants were 246 twin pairs (total n = 492) ages 6-16 years. ADHD behaviors were assessed via mother report on the Child Behavior Checklist. To assess level of self-blame, each twin completed the Children's Perception of Inter-parental Conflict scale. Two biometric GxE models were fit to the data. The first model revealed a significant decrease in genetic effects and a significant increase in unique environmental influences on ADHD with increasing levels of self-blame. These results generally persisted even after controlling for confounding effects due to gene-environment correlation in the second model. Results suggest that appraisals of self-blame in relation to inter-parental conflict may act as a key moderator of etiological contributions to ADHD.

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