Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 113–130

The Etiology of Behavior Problems in 7-Year-Old Twins: Substantial Genetic Influence and Negligible Shared Environmental Influence for Parent Ratings and Ratings by Same and Different Teachers

  • Kimberly J. Saudino
  • Angelica Ronald
  • Robert Plomin
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10802-005-0939-7

Cite this article as:
Saudino, K.J., Ronald, A. & Plomin, R. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2005) 33: 113. doi:10.1007/s10802-005-0939-7


Parent ratings of behavior problems in childhood show substantial genetic influence and modest shared environmental influence. However, few studies have compared these results to teacher ratings and no previous studies have compared same-teacher ratings to different-teacher ratings. 3,714 7-year-old twin pairs in the Twins Early Development Study were rated by parents and teachers on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Substantial heritability and negligible shared environmental influence were found for data from all three raters for total behavior problems, hyperactivity, prosocial behavior, peer problems, conduct problems, and emotional symptoms. Sex-limitation models revealed similar results for males and females, although there was some evidence for greater heritability for boys, especially when twins were rated by the same teacher.

twins behavior problems genetics model fitting 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly J. Saudino
    • 1
    • 3
  • Angelica Ronald
    • 2
  • Robert Plomin
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentBoston UniversityBoston
  2. 2.Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry CentreInstitute of PsychiatryLondonUK
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentBoston UniversityBoston

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