Borderline personality traits and adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms: A genetic analysis of comorbidity

M.A. Distel, A. Carlier, C.M. Middeldorp, C.A. Derom, G.H. Lubke, D.I. Boomsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Previous research has established the comorbidity of adult Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with different personality disorders including Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The association between adult ADHD and BPD has primarily been investigated at the phenotypic level and not yet at the genetic level. The present study investigates the genetic and environmental contributions to the association between borderline personality traits (BPT) and ADHD symptoms in a sample of 7,233 twins and siblings (aged 18-90 years) registered with the Netherlands Twin Register and the East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS) Participants completed the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS-S:SV) and the Personality Assessment Inventory-Borderline Features Scale (PAI-BOR). A bivariate genetic analysis was performed to determine the extent to which genetic and environmental factors influence variation in BPT and ADHD symptoms and the covariance between them. The heritability of BPT and ADHD symptoms was estimated at 45 and 36%, respectively. The remaining variance in BPT and ADHD symptoms was explained by unique environmental influences. The phenotypic correlation between BPT and ADHD symptoms was estimated at r=0.59, and could be explained for 49% by genetic factors and 51% by environmental factors. The genetic and environmental correlations between BPT and ADHD symptoms were 0.72 and 0.51, respectively. The shared etiology between BPT and ADHD symptoms is thus a likely cause for the comorbidity of the two disorders. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-825
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume156
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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