Attention deficit disorder in reading-disabled twins: evidence for a genetic etiology

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1992 Jun;20(3):303-15. doi: 10.1007/BF00916694.


In order to assess the genetic etiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the basic regression model for the analysis of selected twin data (DeFries & Fulker, 1985, 1988) was fitted to questionnaire data (DICA: Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents; Herjanic, Campbell, & Reich, 1982) for 37 identical and 37 fraternal twin pairs tested in the Colorado Reading Project. Results of this analysis suggest that ADHD is highly heritable. Moreover, adjusting DICA scores for either IQ or reading performance differences did not substantially change parameter estimates. In future analyses of larger data sets, distinguishing between possible subtypes of attentional problems (e.g., ADD with or without hyperactivity) may facilitate tests of more searching etiological questions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / genetics
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Developmental Disabilities / genetics
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reading*
  • Sex Factors
  • Twins / genetics*