Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, starting in early childhood and persisting into adulthood in the majority of cases. Family and twin studies have demonstrated the importance of genetic factors and candidate gene association studies have identified several loci that exert small but significant effects on ADHD. To provide further clarification of reported associations and identify novel associated genes, we examined 1038 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning 51 candidate genes involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter pathways, particularly dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin pathways, in addition to circadian rhythm genes. Analysis used within family tests of association in a sample of 776 DSM-IV ADHD combined type cases ascertained for the International Multi-centre ADHD Gene project. We found nominal significance with one or more SNPs in 18 genes, including the two most replicated findings in the literature: DRD4 and DAT1. Gene-wide tests, adjusted for the number of SNPs analysed in each gene, identified associations with TPH2, ARRB2, SYP, DAT1, ADRB2, HES1, MAOA and PNMT. Further studies will be needed to confirm or refute the observed associations and their generalisability to other samples. © 2006 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.