Genetic influence on parent-reported attention-related problems in a Norwegian general population twin sample

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1996 May;35(5):588-96; discussion 596-8. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199605000-00013.

Abstract

Objective: To assess the genetic and environmental influences on attention problems in a general population twin sample and to investigate whether there are changes in the relative genetic influence on attention problems with increasing severity.

Method: Parental ratings of the Child Behavior Checklist were collected from five Norwegian national cohorts of same-sex twins. The sample comprises 526 identical and 389 fraternal pairs.

Results: Considerable genetic influence on attention problems was found for both sexes and across age groups (aged 5 to 9 years and 12 to 15 years). A two-parameter model with additive genetic influence and nonshared environment showed a good fit, with heritability ranging from .73 in boys aged 5 to 9 years, to .76 in girls aged 5 to 9 years. There was no change in the relative genetic influence across severity after accounting for the influence of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and low birth weight.

Conclusion: The results indicate a substantial genetic influence on attention problems across sex, age, and severity.

Publication types

  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Personality Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment*
  • Twins, Dizygotic / genetics
  • Twins, Dizygotic / psychology
  • Twins, Monozygotic / genetics
  • Twins, Monozygotic / psychology