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Genetic, environmental and gender influences on attachment disorder behaviours

Minnis, H; Reekie, J; Young, D; O'Connor, T; Ronald, A; Grayand, A; Plomin, R; (2007) Genetic, environmental and gender influences on attachment disorder behaviours. BRIT J PSYCHIAT , 190 490 - 495. 10.1192/bjp.bp.105.019745.

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Abstract

Background Despite current interest in attachment disorder, there is concern about its discrimination from other disorders and an unproven assumption of an environmental aetiologyAims To test whether behaviours suggestive of attachment disorder are distinct from other childhood behavioural and emotional problems and are solely environmentally determined.Method In a community sample of 13 472 twins, we carried out factor analysis of questionnaire items encompassing behaviours indicative of attachment disorder, conduct problems, hyperactivity and emotional difficulties. We used behavioural genetic model-fitting analysis to explore the contribution of genes and environment.Results Factor analysis showed clear discrimination between behaviours suggestive of attachment disorder, conduct problems, hyperactivity and emotional problems. Behavioural genetics analysis suggested a strong genetic influence to attachment disorder behaviour, with males showing higher heritabilityConclusions Behaviours suggestive of attachment disorder can be differentiated from common childhood emotional and behavioural problems and appear to be strongly genetically influenced, particularly in boys.Declaration of interest None.

Type:Article
Title:Genetic, environmental and gender influences on attachment disorder behaviours
DOI:10.1192/bjp.bp.105.019745
Keywords:DIFFICULTIES QUESTIONNAIRE, CHILDREN, STRENGTHS, SAMPLE, TWINS

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