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Genetic Association between Atopy and Behavioral Symptoms in Middle Childhood

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The relationship of atopic and behavioral symptoms in a community sample of 66 monozygotic and 141 dizygotic twin pairs, ages 4–11 years, was investigated via mother report questionnaires. Within-person correlation between atopic symptoms and Child Behavior Checklist internalizing symptoms (CBCL-INT) was .21 (p < .001) for the total sample. Cross-correlations between atopy and CBCL-INT were .26 for monozygotic and .04 for dizygotic twins. A common and specific factor model applied to the data revealed that the cross-correlation between atopy and CBCL-INT was mainly due to genetic influences (77% of the covariance). This study supports the hypothesis that there is a shared genetic risk for atopy and internalizing symptoms.
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Keywords: Externalizing disorder; asthma; genetics; internalizing disorder; school children; twins

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA 2: University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA 3: Children's National Medical Center, Washington DC, USA

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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