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A multivariate genetic analysis of specific phobia, separation anxiety and social phobia in early childhood

  • Thalia Eley (Doctor)
  • Fruhling Rijsdijk (Doctor)
  • Sean Perrin (Dr)
  • Thomas O'Connor (Professor)
  • Derek Bolton (Professor)
Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 839-848
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volym: 36
Nummer: 6
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Springer-Science


Background: Comorbidity amongst anxiety disorders is
very common in children as in adults and leads to
considerable distress and impairment, yet is poorly understood. Multivariate genetic analyses can shed light on the origins of this comorbidity by revealing whether genetic or environmental risks for one disorder also influence another. We examined the genetic and environmental influences on
the comorbidity between three common childhood anxiety disorders: Specific Phobia, Separation Anxiety and Social Phobia. Methods Using a two-phase design 4,662 twin-pairs were screened in the first phase and 854 pairs were assessed in
the second phase by maternal-informant diagnostic interview using DSM-IV criteria. Results: Multivariate genetic analysis revealed significant
shared environmental over-lap between Specific Phobia and Separation Anxiety and significant familial and non-shared environmental over-lap between Specific Phobia and Social Phobia.
Conclusions: Familial influences, especially shared environment, are central to the comorbidity between Specific Phobia and both Separation Anxiety and Social Phobia.



  • Social Sciences
  • Twins
  • Genetics
  • Environment
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Children



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