, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 1665-1674
Date: 23 Feb 2011

The Nature of Covariation Between Autistic Traits and Clumsiness: A Twin Study in a General Population Sample

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While social impairment, difficulties with communication, and restricted repetitive behaviors are central features of Autism Spectrum Disorders, physical clumsiness is a commonly co-occuring feature. In a sample of 398 twin pairs (aged 8–17 years) from the Italian Twin Registry we investigated the nature of the co-variation between a psychometric index of Clumsiness and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) Autistic scale. Bivariate twin analyses showed that a genetic etiological overlap, rather than direct causation, is a plausible explanation for the association between clumsiness and autistic-like traits, as measured by indices derived from the parent-rated CBCL scale. Additive genetic influences that impinge upon clumsiness/motor problem and autistic-like traits coincided remarkably, with a genetic correlation of 0.63.