Exploring the association between anxiety and conduct problems in a large sample of twins aged 2-4

Gregory, Alice M.; Eley, Thalia C. and Plomin, R.. 2004. Exploring the association between anxiety and conduct problems in a large sample of twins aged 2-4. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32(2), pp. 111-122. ISSN 0091-0627 (print), 1573-2835 (online) [Article]


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Abstract or Description

Anxiety and conduct problems covary, yet studies have not explored the genetic and environmental origins of this association.We analyzed parent-reported anxiety and conduct problems in 6,783 pairs of twins at 2-, 3-, and 4-years of age. As anxiety and conduct problems were fairly stable across the three ages (average 1-year correlation was .53), ratings from all three were combined. The aggregate anxiety and conduct ratings correlated .33 for boys and .30 for girls. Bivariate genetic analyses indicated fairly low genetic correlations (.31 for boys, .16 for girls), and high shared environmental correlations (1.0 for boys and 0.99 for girls) between anxiety and conduct problems. Most of the phenotypic correlation was accounted for by shared environmental mediation (65% for boys and 94% for girls), indicating that many of the same family environmental factors are responsible for the development of both anxiety and conduct problems.

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The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com. The publisher has requested that we include the following statement with this open access version "This copy is not the copy of record, and may not be identical to the published version". Note that formatting and pagination are different in this version, which is however post-print.


anxiety; conduct; twins; genes; environment

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April 2004Published

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11 Aug 2008 11:32

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:28

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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