It has been widely postulated that the categorical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be seen as the extreme end of a set of traits quantitatively distributed in the general population. A consequence of this is that the genes associated with DSM-IV ADHD should also influence these underlying traits in non-affected individuals. The aim of this study was to examine if specific candidate loci previously shown to be associated with DSM-IV ADHD, also act as quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for ADHD-symptoms in the general population. We have genotyped five candidate markers in a population-based sample of male dizygous twin-pairs (n = 329 pairs). We found little evidence to support a role for the previously-nominated alleles of a DRD4 VNTR, a 5HT1B SNP, or a microsatellite marker near to DRD5, in the distribution of ADHD-symptoms scores; however, we found some evidence to suggest that the DAT1 3′UTR VNTR and weak evidence that a microsatellite in SNAP-25 may have a role in continuous measures of ADHD-symptoms hyperactivity above and beyond their role in clinical ADHD. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.