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ERIC Number: EJ1005611
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0890-8567
Genetic and Environmental Stability in Attention Problems across the Lifespan: Evidence from the Netherlands Twin Register
Kan, Kees-Jan; Dolan, Conor V.; Nivard, Michel G.; Middeldorp, Christel M.; van Beijsterveldt, Catharina E. M.; Willemsen, Gonneke; Boomsma, Dorret I.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, v52 n1 p12-25 Jan 2013
Objective: To review findings on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and attention problems (AP) in children, adolescents, and adults, as established in the database of the Netherlands Twin Register and increase the understanding of stability in AP across the lifespan as a function of genetic and environmental influences. Method: A longitudinal model was fitted on Netherlands Twin Register AP scores from 44,607 child (less than 12-year-old), adolescent (12- to 18-year-old), and adult (greater than 18-year-old) twins. Results: Mean AP showed a downward trend with age. Age-to-age correlations ranged from 0.33 (50-[greater than or equal to]60 years old) to 0.73 (10-12 years old). Stability in individual differences in AP was due to genetic and environmental factors, and change was due primarily to environmental factors. Nonadditive genetic influences were present from childhood to adulthood. Total genetic variance decreased slightly throughout aging, whereas environmental variance increased substantially with the switch from maternal to self-ratings at 12 years of age. As a result, heritability coefficients decreased from 0.70 to 0.74 in childhood (maternal ratings) to 0.51 to 0.56 in adolescence (self-ratings), and 0.40 to 0.54 in adulthood (self-ratings). In childhood, male subjects scored higher than female subjects. After the rater switch at 12 years of age, female subjects tended to score higher than male subjects. Conclusions: Stability of AP is the result of genetic and environmental stability. The decrease in estimated heritability at 12 years of age is due to an increase in occasion-specific environmental variance and likely reflects a methodologic effect. Because environmental influences have lasting effects on AP, their early detection is crucial. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands