The contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the stability of obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms has not yet been established in adult population based samples. We obtained the Young Adult Self Report Obsessive-Compulsive Subscale in mono- and dizygotic twins from the population-based Netherlands Twin Register in 1991, 1995 and 1997 and the Padua Inventory Revised Abbreviated in 2002. Stability of OC symptoms was analyzed as a function of genetic and environmental components. Heritability of OC behavior was around 40% at each time-point, independent of the instrument used. OC behavior was moderately stable with correlations ranging between r = .2 (for 11-year intervals), .4 (for 4-5 year intervals) and .6 (for 2 year intervals). Genetic correlations across time were higher, varying between .4 and .9, indicating that the stability of OC symptoms is mainly due to stable genetic factors. This study showed a moderate heritability and stability for OC behavior in adults. Genetic stability across time is high.
van Grootheest, D. S., Cath, D., Hottenga, J. J., Beekman, A. T. F., & Boomsma, D. I. (2009). Genetic Factors Underlie Stability of Obsessive–Compulsive Symptoms. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12(5), 411-419. https://doi.org/10.1375/twin.12.5.411