Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-662rr Total loading time: 0.295 Render date: 2022-05-24T12:56:19.793Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Article contents

Prevalence and genetic and environmental influences on anxiety disorders in 6-year-old twins

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 November 2005

DEREK BOLTON
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
THALIA C. ELEY
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
THOMAS G. O'CONNOR
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
SEAN PERRIN
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
SOPHIA RABE-HESKETH
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
FRÜHLING RIJSDIJK
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
PATRICK SMITH
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK

Abstract

Background. Prevalence of childhood anxiety disorders at specific ages and genetic etiological influences on anxiety disorders in young children have been little studied. The present study reports prevalence estimates in a community sample of 6-year-old twins, and patterns of genetic and environmental influences on these early-onset anxiety disorders.

Method. Using a two-phase design 4662 twin-pairs were sampled and 854 pairs were assessed in the second phase by maternal-informant diagnostic interview using DSM-IV criteria.

Results. The most common conditions were separation anxiety disorder (SAD) [2·8%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·1–3·8, for current disorder] and specific phobia (10·8%, 95% CI 8·4–13·6, for current disorder). Behavioral genetic modeling was feasible for these two conditions, applied to two phenotypes: symptom syndrome (regardless of impairment) and the narrower one of diagnostic status (symptom syndrome with associated impairment). The heritability estimate for SAD diagnostic status was high, 73%, with remaining variance attributed to non-shared environment. The heritability estimates for specific phobia were also high, 80% for the symptom syndrome and 60% for diagnostic status, with remaining variance attributed in both cases to non-shared environment.

Conclusions. Compared with previous epidemiological surveys of children and adolescents in wide age-bands, the current estimates suggest that rates of anxiety disorders assessed in young childhood are generally at least as high and perhaps higher compared with those found in older children. The heritability estimates suggest that the genetic effects on these early-onset anxiety disorders are substantial and more significant than environmental effects, whether shared or non-shared.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
2005 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
55
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Prevalence and genetic and environmental influences on anxiety disorders in 6-year-old twins
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Prevalence and genetic and environmental influences on anxiety disorders in 6-year-old twins
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Prevalence and genetic and environmental influences on anxiety disorders in 6-year-old twins
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *