Familial Transmission and Heritability of Childhood Disruptive Disorders

Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 09/2010; 167(9):1066-74. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.09091272
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Genetics, for example, might influence both parental and child behavior and link SES to behavior problems. For example, in a study of 1069 11-year-old twins and their biological mothers and fathers, Bornovalova et al. (2010) demonstrated that parental genetic factors accounted for a large percentage of the variance in disorders in these children. Some variables may produce intergenerational effects (Yoshikawa et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: The association between socioeconomic status (SES) and behavior problems in children is long established and well accepted. Across levels of SES, behavioral problems are generally more common among lower-SES children. However, less is understood about both the mechanisms that underlie these differences and their developmental origins. This article reviews the research regarding material and psychosocial paths that account for socioeconomic differences in child behavioral problems and how these differences are reinforced by social contextual influences within the family, school, and community. The article ends with a discussion about implications of SES differences for clinical care and policy interventions.
    International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition edited by James D. Wright, 03/2015: pages 477-480; Elsevier., ISBN: 0080970869
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    • "b Quartiles: completed compulsory school, high school, \3 years of higher education, C3 years of higher education c Data not available d 15, out of 16, missing grades in mandatory school J Autism Dev Disord 2003) we found no such effect. Fourth, in line with family studies (Biederman et al. 1995) and extended twin designs (Bornovalova et al. 2010), familial effects were clearly indicated in the association between ADHD and criminality since unaffected full siblings of individuals with ADHD had a remaining but less pronounced risk for violent criminality. "
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    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 06/2013; 44(11). DOI:10.1007/s10803-013-1873-0 · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    • "Similar to SUDs and antisocial behavior in adulthood, these disorders exhibit high rates of comorbidity, and this comorbidity is heavily influenced by common genetic risk factors (Dick et al., 2005; Nadder et al., 2002). Additionally, the link between parental SUDs and antisocial behavior and their offspring's childhood disruptive disorders is best accounted for by the transmission of a general externalizing factor, suggesting childhood disruptive disorders lie on the same liability dimension and are developmental precursors of SUDs (Bornovalova et al., 2010). "
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