Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 63–75

A Twin Study of the Relationships among Inattention, Hyperactivity/Impulsivity and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Problems

  • Sara Moruzzi
  • Fruhlling Rijsdijk
  • Marco Battaglia

DOI: 10.1007/s10802-013-9725-0

Cite this article as:
Moruzzi, S., Rijsdijk, F. & Battaglia, M. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2014) 42: 63. doi:10.1007/s10802-013-9725-0


We investigated the etiological relationships between the three ADHD dimensions of Inattentive Problems (INP), Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Problems (HIP) and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) as measured by the CBCL 6–18 questionnaire. Multivariate models were applied to 398 twin pairs (374 boys and 422 girls) aged 8 to 17 years (M = 13.06, SD = 2.59) belonging to the population-based Italian Twin Registry. The INP, HIP and SCT problem scores were moderately-to-substantially (range 0.29–0.47) intercorrelated. The best fitting model showed that these 3 dimensions are correlated both at the genetic (correlations’ range: 0.65–0.83) and the environmental (correlations: 0.29 and 0.44) levels, but they are also distinct. While SCT showed moderate heritability and large non-shared environmental influences, variance for both INP and HIP was substantially explained by genetic influences. We also found evidence of negative sibling interaction for INP, implying that a given behavior in one twin leads to an opposite behavior in the co-twin. Our results support at the etiological level the findings of previous psychometric and longitudinal studies of ADHD, which yielded evidence of the 3 distinct—albeit correlated—problem dimensions of inattentiveness, hyperactivity-impulsivity, and sluggish cognitive tempo.


ADHD Sluggish cognitive tempo Multivariate twin studies CBCL 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Moruzzi
    • 1
  • Fruhlling Rijsdijk
    • 2
  • Marco Battaglia
    • 3
  1. 1.The Academic Centre for the Study of Behavioural PlasticityVita-Salute San Raffaele UniversityMilanItaly
  2. 2.MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and NeurosciencesLaval University and Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de QuébecQuébecCanada

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