Young Netherlands Twin Register (Y-NTR): A longitudinal multiple informant study of problem behavior.

M. Bartels, C.E.M. van Beijsterveldt, E.M. Derks, T.M. Stroet, T.J.C. Polderman, J. Hudziak, D.I. Boomsma

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Abstract

The Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) was established around 1987 at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The current article summarizes the longitudinal genetic analyses of maternal and paternal ratings of twins' behavior as a function of the sex of the children for the traits of aggression (AGG), attention problems (AP), anxious/depression (ANX), internalizing behavior (INT) and externalizing behavior (EXT). We found that genetic influences are the most important factor in explaining individual differences in these traits. For most phenotypes, influences of genetic factors fluctuate throughout development, with the exception of AP, for which genetic influences remain of similar magnitude. Changes in genetic influences parallel those in shared environmental influences, while non-shared environmental influences remain relatively constant. Around 10% to 20% of the variance is accounted for by parent-specific shared environment, which includes rater bias. For all phenotypes, stability throughout childhood is accounted for by genetic and shared environmental factors, while nonshared environmental influences are mainly age/measurement specific. About 15% of the phenotypic stability is accounted for by rater-specific shared environmental influences, which include rater bias. In conclusion, between ages 3 and 12 genetic factors are the most important cause of individual differences in emotional and behavioral problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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