Familial Transmission and Heritability of Childhood Disruptive Disorders

Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 09/2010; 167(9):1066-74. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.09091272
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is substantial evidence of a link between parental substance use disorders and antisocial behavior and childhood disruptive disorders in offspring, but it is unclear whether this transmission is specific to particular disorders or if a general liability accounts for familial resemblance. The authors examined whether the association between parental externalizing disorders and childhood disruptive disorders in preadolescent offspring is a result of the transmission of general or disorder-specific liabilities and estimated the genetic and environmental contributions to variation in these general and specific liability indicators.
Participants were 1,069 families consisting of 11-year-old twins and their biological mother and father. Structural equation modeling was used to simultaneously estimate the general and specific transmission effects of four parental externalizing disorders (conduct disorder, adult antisocial behavior, alcohol dependence, and drug dependence) on childhood disruptive disorders (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder).
Parent-child resemblance was accounted for by the transmission of a general liability to externalizing disorders, and this general liability was highly heritable. Specific effects were also detected, but for sibling rather than parental transmission. Specific genetic and nonshared environmental effects were detected for each childhood disruptive disorder, but only conduct disorder exhibited a significant shared environmental effect.
A highly heritable general liability accounts for the parent-child transmission of externalizing psychopathology from parents to their preadolescent offspring. This general liability should be a focus of research for both etiology and intervention.

Download full-text


Available from: Brian M Hicks, Jun 29, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The longitudinal relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and violent criminality has been extensively documented, while long-term effects of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), tic disorders (TDs), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) on criminality have been scarcely studied. Using population-based registers of all child and adolescent mental health services in Stockholm, we identified 3,391 children, born 1984-1994, with neurodevelopmental disorders, and compared their risk for subsequent violent criminality with matched controls. Individuals with ADHD or TDs were at elevated risk of committing violent crimes, no such association could be seen for ASDs or OCD. ADHD and TDs are risk factors for subsequent violent criminality, while ASDs and OCD are not associated with violent criminality.
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 06/2013; 44(11). DOI:10.1007/s10803-013-1873-0 · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Substance use disorders (SUDs) are highly comorbid and exhibit a relatively late onset. As such, many behaviors and personality traits present prior to the initiation of substance use can be used to predict later SUDs. The transmissible liability index (TLI) is a quantitative measure of such behaviors that indexes the common liability to SUDs. We examined the predictive utility and heritability of the TLI in a large community twin sample. Using the Minnesota Twin Family Study (N=2510), we estimated TLI scores from mother, child, and teacher reports of symptom and personality measures assessed at age 11. We then estimated the genetic and environmental contributions to the association between TLI scores at age 11 and composite measures of substance abuse and behavioral disinhibition (antisocial behavior) at age 17. For both male and female twins, TLI scores were highly heritable (.76) and exhibited moderate associations with adolescent substance abuse (r=.29) and behavioral disinhibition (r=.40). Genetic factors accounted for the association between TLI scores and the adolescent outcomes. Findings support the utility of the TLI as a measure of the inherited, common liability to SUDs.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 01/2012; 123 Suppl 1:S18-23. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.12.017 · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the ways in which the accumulation of maternal factors increases or reduces risk for girls' disruptive behavior during preadolescence. In the current study, maternal risk and promotive factors and the severity of girls' disruptive behavior were assessed annually among girls' ages 7-12 in an urban community sample (N = 2043). Maternal risk and promotive factors were operative at different time points in girls' development. Maternal warmth explained variance in girls' disruptive behavior, even after controlling for maternal risk factors and relevant child and neighborhood factors. In addition, findings supported the cumulative hypothesis that the number of risk factors increased the chance on girls' disruptive behavior disorder (DBD), while the number of promotive factors decreased this probability. Daughters of mothers with a history of Conduct Disorder (CD) were exposed to more risk factors and fewer promotive factors compared to daughters of mothers without prior CD. The identification of malleable maternal factors that can serve as targets for intervention has important implications for intergenerational intervention. Cumulative effects show that the focus of prevention efforts should not be on single factors, but on multiple factors associated with girls' disruptive behavior.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 11/2011; 40(5):727-39. DOI:10.1007/s10802-011-9595-2 · 3.09 Impact Factor