The genetic etiology of inhibitory control and behavior problems at 24 months of age
Article first published online: 31 MAY 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2011 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 52, Issue 11, pages 1155–1163, November 2011
How to Cite
Gagne, J. R., Saudino, K. J. and Asherson, P. (2011), The genetic etiology of inhibitory control and behavior problems at 24 months of age. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52: 1155–1163. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02420.x
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 31 MAY 2011
- Accepted for publication: 15 April 2011 Published online: 31 May 2011
- Inhibitory control;
- behavior problems;
- early childhood;
Background: To investigate links between inhibitory control (IC) and behavior problems in early childhood, as well as genetic and environmental covariances between these two constructs.
Methods: Parent and laboratory ratings of IC and parent ratings of externalizing and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder behaviors were administered at 24 months of age on a sample of 291 same-sex twin pairs (131 monozygotic, 160 dizygotic).
Results: There were significant phenotypic associations between both IC assessments and the two areas of behavioral maladjustment (correlations ranged from −.13 to −.57). Multivariate analyses revealed that phenotypic covariance between IC and behavior problems could be substantially explained by common genetic influences (genetic correlations ranged from −.30 to −.74). Parent ratings of IC showed higher phenotypic and genetic correlations with behavior problems than lab ratings of IC.
Conclusions: This study is the first to examine the etiology of the covariance between IC and related behavioral difficulties in toddlerhood. Findings suggest that low levels of IC can be considered a genetic risk factor for the development of early emerging behavior problems.