The (Broad-Sense) Genetic Correlations Among Four Measures of Inattention and Hyperactivity in 12 Year Olds

Conor V. Dolan, Eveline L. De Zeeuw, Tetyana Zayats, C. E. M. Van Beijsterveldt, Dorret I. Boomsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We estimated the genetic covariance matrix among four inattention (INATT) and four hyperactivity (HYP) measures in the classical twin design. Data on INATT and HYP symptom counts were obtained in mono- and dizygotic twin pairs (N = 1593) with an average age of 12.2 years (sd =.51). We analyzed maternal ratings of INATT and HYP based on the Conners’ Parent Rating Scale (CPRS), the Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD-symptoms and Normal-behavior (SWAN), and teacher ratings based on the Conners' Teacher rating scale (CTRS) and the ASEBA Teacher Rating Form (TRF). Broad-sense heritabilities, corrected for the main effects of sex and for random teacher rater effects, were large (ranging from.658 to.912). The results reveal pervasive and strong broad-sense genetic effects on INATT and HYP phenotypes with the phenotypic covariance among the phenotypes largely due to correlated genetic effects. Specifically between 79.9 and 99.9% of the phenotypic covariance among the HYP measures, and between 81.0 and 93.5% of the INATT measures are attributable to broad-sense genetic effects. Overall, the present results, pertaining to the broad-sense heritabilities and shared genetic effects, support the current genome-wide association meta-analytic approach to identifying pleiotropic genetic variants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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