Low attention control in early adolescence is a genetic risk factor for anxiety disorders

Posted on June 21, 2016

"Appropriate and earlier intervention could really assist these patients and improve their outlooks on the long-term," said Jeffrey Gagne, UTA assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study. "Having a visible marker like low attention control, which usually appears and can be identified before anxiety, could improve the treatment of these disorders."

The researchers used a combination of self-ratings and mother ratings to assess scores for obsessive, social, separation and generalized anxiety symptoms in 446 twin pairs with a mean age of 13.6 years, all enrolled in the Wisconsin Twin Project.

They then explored the extent to which links between low levels of attention and anxiety symptoms are genetically and environmentally mediated in adolescence.

Non-shared environmental influences were significant across attention control and all anxiety variables. Genetic correlations ranged from 36 to 47 per cent, a pattern that suggests that low attention can be considered a phenotypic and genetic risk factor for anxiety.

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Category(s):Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development

Source material from ScienceDaily


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