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Conduct problems in children and adolescents: a twin study

Scourfield, Jane, van den Bree, Marianne Bernadette, Martin, Neilson and McGuffin, Peter 2004. Conduct problems in children and adolescents: a twin study. Archives of General Psychiatry 61 (5) , pp. 489-496. 10.1001/archpsyc.61.5.489

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BACKGROUND: Evidence supports a genetic influence on conduct problems as a continuous measure of behavior and as a diagnostic category. However, there is a lack of studies using a genetically informative design combined with several different informants and different settings. OBJECTIVES: To examine genetic and environmental influences on conduct problems rated by parent and teacher reports and self-reports and to determine whether their ratings reflect a common underlying phenotype. DESIGN: A twin study design was used to examine conduct problem scores from ratings by teachers, parents, and twins themselves. SETTING: General community. PARTICIPANTS: Twins aged 5 to 17 years participating in the Cardiff Study of All Wales and North England Twins (CaStANET) project. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Conduct problem scale from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. RESULTS: Conduct problem scores were significantly heritable based on parent and teacher reports and self-reports. Combining data from all 3 informants showed that they are rating a common underlying phenotype of pervasive conduct problems that is entirely genetic, while teacher ratings show separate genetic influences that are not shared with other raters. CONCLUSIONS: Conduct problems are significantly heritable based on parent and teacher reports and self-reports, and are also influenced by environmental effects that impinge uniquely on children from the same family. There is a cross-situational conduct problems' phenotype, underlying the behavior measured by all informants, that is wholly genetic in origin. No significant influence of shared environmental effects was found.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
ISSN: 0003990X
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2021 02:12

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