Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 1197–1210 | Cite as

Relationship Between Symptom Domains in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Population Based Twin Study

  • Katharina Dworzynski
  • Francesca Happé
  • Patrick Bolton
  • Angelica Ronald
Original Paper

Abstract

Factor structure and relationship between core features of autism (social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive behaviours or interests (RRBIs)) were explored in 189 children from the Twins Early Development Study, diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) using the Development and Wellbeing Assessment (DAWBA; Goodman et al. in J Child Psychol Psyc 41:645–655, 2000). A bottom-up approach (analysis 1) used principal component factor analysis of DAWBA items indicating five factors, the first three mapping on the triad. In analysis 2, applying top-down DSM-IV criteria, correlations between domains were modest, strongest between social and communication difficulties. Cross-twin cross-trait correlations suggested small shared genetic effects between RRBIs and other symptoms. These findings from a clinical sample of twins indicate a fractionation of social/communicative and RRBI symptoms in ASD.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders Symptom domains Twins 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina Dworzynski
    • 1
  • Francesca Happé
    • 1
  • Patrick Bolton
    • 1
  • Angelica Ronald
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre (SGDP), Institute of PsychiatryKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Birkbeck CollegeLondonUK

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