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    Developmental associations between traits of autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a genetically-informative, longitudinal twin study

    Taylor, M.J. and Charman, T. and Robinson, E.B. and Plomin, R. and Happé, F. and Asherson, P. and Ronald, Angelica (2013) Developmental associations between traits of autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a genetically-informative, longitudinal twin study. Psychological Medicine 43 (08), pp. 1735-1746. ISSN 0033-2917.

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    Abstract

    Background - Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and associated subclinical traits, regularly co-occur with one another. However, the aetiology of their co-occurrence remains poorly understood. This paper provides the first genetically informative, longitudinal analysis of the interaction between traits of ASD and ADHD, and explores their genetic and environmental overlap. Method - Parents of approximately 5000 twin pairs completed questionnaires assessing traits of ASD and ADHD when twins were aged 8 and 12 years. Cross-lagged longitudinal modelling explored their developmental association, enabling a consideration of phenotypic-driven processes. Overlapping aetiological influences on traits at age 12 years were explored using bivariate twin modelling. Results - Traits of ADHD at age 8 years were more strongly predictive of traits of ASD at 12 years than traits of ASD at 8 years were of traits of ADHD at 12 years. Analysis of traits by subscales assessing specific symptom domains suggested that communication difficulties were most strongly associated with traits of ADHD. Bivariate modelling suggested moderate genetic overlap on traits in males (genetic correlation = 0.41), and a modest degree of overlap in females (genetic correlation = 0.23) at age 12 years. Conclusions - Traits of ADHD at age 8 years significantly influence traits of ASD at age 12 years, after controlling for their initial relationship at age 8 years. In particular, early ADHD traits influenced later communication difficulties. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of co-occurring traits across development. In addition, these findings add to a growing body of literature suggesting that traits of ASD and ADHD may arise via similar aetiological processes.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Copyright Cambridge University Press 2013
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, longitudinal, twin study
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Angelica Ronald
    Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2014 10:24
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:55
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/9471

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