The goal of the present study is to examine genetic and environmental influences on maternal and teacher ratings of Attention Problems (AP) in 7-year-old children. Teachers completed the Teacher Report Form (N=2259 pairs), and mothers the Child Behavior Checklist (N=2057 pairs). Higher correlations were found in twins rated by the same teacher than in twins rated by different teachers. This can be explained by rater bias or by a greater environmental sharing in twins, who are in the same classroom. We further found that 41% of the variation in maternal and teacher ratings is explained by a common factor. The heritability of this common factor is 78%. The heritabilities of the rater specific factors of mothers and teachers are 76% and 39%, respectively. Because Attention Problems that are persistent over situations may indicate more serious behavior problems than context dependent Attention Problems, we believe that gene finding strategies should focus on this common phenotype.
- Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)