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Assessment of emotions and behaviour by the Developmental Behaviour Checklist in young people with neurodevelopmental CNVs

Cunningham, Adam C., Hall, Jeremy ORCID:, Owen, Michael ORCID: and van den Bree, Marianne B. M. ORCID: 2022. Assessment of emotions and behaviour by the Developmental Behaviour Checklist in young people with neurodevelopmental CNVs. Psychological Medicine 52 (3) , pp. 574-586. 10.1017/S0033291720002330

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ackground A number of genomic conditions caused by copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with a high risk of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders (ND-CNVs). Although these patients also tend to have cognitive impairments, few studies have investigated the range of emotion and behaviour problems in young people with ND-CNVs using measures that are suitable for those with learning difficulties. Methods A total of 322 young people with 13 ND-CNVs across eight loci (mean age: 9.79 years, range: 6.02–17.91, 66.5% male) took part in the study. Primary carers completed the Developmental Behaviour Checklist (DBC). Results Of the total, 69% of individuals with an ND-CNV screened positive for clinically significant difficulties. Young people from families with higher incomes (OR = 0.71, CI = 0.55–0.91, p = .008) were less likely to screen positive. The rate of difficulties differed depending on ND-CNV genotype (χ2 = 39.99, p < 0.001), with the lowest rate in young people with 22q11.2 deletion (45.7%) and the highest in those with 1q21.1 deletion (93.8%). Specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses were found for different ND-CNV genotypes. However, ND-CNV genotype explained no more than 9–16% of the variance, depending on DBC subdomain. Conclusions Emotion and behaviour problems are common in young people with ND-CNVs. The ND-CNV specific patterns we find can provide a basis for more tailored support. More research is needed to better understand the variation in emotion and behaviour problems not accounted for by genotype.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0033-2917
Funders: Wellcome Trust, MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 8 June 2020
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2024 10:35

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