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Does the definition of ADHD affect heritability?

Thapar, Anita ORCID:, Harrington, R., Ross, K. and McGuffin, P. 2000. Does the definition of ADHD affect heritability? Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 39 (12) , pp. 1528-1536. 10.1097/00004583-200012000-00015

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OBJECTIVE: A twin study design was used to examine the genetic validity of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related phenotypes. METHOD: Questionnaires covering ADHD symptoms were sent to the families of 2,846 school-age twins. Parent-rated symptoms were obtained for 2,082 twin pairs and teacher-rated symptoms were available for 1,470 twin pairs. RESULTS: Broadly defined parent-rated, teacher-rated, and "pervasive" (both parent- and teacher-rated) ADHD categories were found to be highly heritable. Significant shared environmental effects were also detected for teacher-rated ADHD. A common genetic factor was found to have a modest influence on both parent- and teacher-rated symptom scores and categories, but additional genetic and environmental influences were also found forteacher-rated ADHD. Consistent with previous findings, ADHD symptom scores were again found to be highly heritable. Maternal contrast effects were found for the Rutter A scale items but could not be detected for the DuPaul ADHD rating scale. CONCLUSIONS: Broadly defined pervasive ADHD appears to be as heritable as ADHD behaviors defined by maternal reports alone. A common genetic factor influences maternally rated and teacher-rated ADHD but does not account for all of the genetic variance for teacher-rated ADHD. ADHD symptom scores are highly heritable, and maternal contrast effects appear to vary for different measures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0890-8567
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 09:25

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