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    A multivariate twin study of autistic traits in 12-year-olds: testing the fractionable autism triad hypothesis

    Robinson, E.B. and Koenen, K.C. and McCormick, M.C. and Munir, K. and Hallett, V. and Happé, F. and Plomin, R. and Ronald, Angelica (2012) A multivariate twin study of autistic traits in 12-year-olds: testing the fractionable autism triad hypothesis. Behavior Genetics 42 (2), pp. 245-255. ISSN 0001-8244.

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    Abstract

    Autistic traits—social impairment, communication impairment, and restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests—are heritable in the general population. Previous analyses have consistently reported limited genetic and environmental overlap between autistic trait domains in samples assessed in middle childhood. Here we extend this research to parent-report data for 12-year-olds. Data from 5,944 pairs in the Twins Early Development Study were analyzed to explore the domain-specific heritability and degree of shared genetic and environmental influences across different autistic traits in the general population and among individuals scoring in the top 5% of each domain. Sex differences in the etiological estimates were also tested in these analyses. Autistic traits were moderately to highly heritable (0.58–0.88) at age 12. Bivariate genetic correlations in the full sample (0.18–0.40) and the extremes (0.24–0.67), as well as even lower unique environmental correlations, all suggested considerable fractionation of genetic and environmental influences across autistic trait domains, in line with previous findings.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): autistic traits, autism, twins, genetics, genetic overlap
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2015 17:37
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:55
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/13661

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