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Genetics of co-developing conduct and emotional problems during childhood and adolescence

Hannigan, LJ; Pingault, J-B; Krapohl, E; McAdams, TA; Rijsdijk, FV; Eley, TC; (2018) Genetics of co-developing conduct and emotional problems during childhood and adolescence. Nature Human Behaviour , 2 (7) pp. 514-521. 10.1038/s41562-018-0373-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Common genetic influences offer a partial explanation for comorbidity between different psychiatric disorders1,2,3. However, the genetics underlying co-development—the cross-domain co-occurrence of patterns of change over time—of psychiatric symptoms during childhood and adolescence has not been well explored. Here, we show genetic influence on joint symptom trajectories of parent-reported conduct and emotional problems (overall N = 15,082) across development (4–16 years) using both twin- and genome-wide polygenic score analyses (genotyped N = 2,610). Specifically, we found seven joint symptom trajectories, including two characterized by jointly stable and jointly increasing symptoms of conduct and emotional problems, respectively (7.3% of the sample, collectively). Twin modelling analyses revealed substantial genetic influence on trajectories (heritability estimates range of 0.41–0.78). Furthermore, individuals’ risk of being classified in the most symptomatic trajectory classes was significantly predicted by polygenic scores for years-of-education-associated alleles and depressive symptoms-associated alleles. Complementary analyses of child self-reported symptoms across late childhood and early adolescence yielded broadly similar results. Taken together, our results indicate that genetic factors are involved in the co-development of conduct and emotional problems across childhood and adolescence, and that individuals with co-developing symptoms across multiple domains may represent a clinical subgroup characterized by increased levels of genetic risk.

Type: Article
Title: Genetics of co-developing conduct and emotional problems during childhood and adolescence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41562-018-0373-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-018-0373-9
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069390
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