Reading disability (RD), math disability (MD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are common disorders of childhood that frequently co-occur, but the developmental etiology of this comorbidity is largely unknown. The proposed project is an extension of the Western Reserve Reading and Math Project and the International Longitudinal Twin Study of Early Reading Development, two longitudinal twin studies that have followed population-based samples of twins since preschool. The twins will complete an extensive battery of measures of reading, math, ADHD, and neuropsychological functioning at the end of ninth grade. These measures will provide important new information regarding the developmental etiology of word reading and more complex reading fluency and comprehension, the developmental stability of DSM-IV symptom dimensions and subtypes of ADHD, and the longitudinal and cross-sectional etiology of covariance between individual differences and extreme scores on measures of reading, math, and ADHD symptoms. The extensive battery of neuropsychological measures will be used to test which neuropsychological functions are uniquely associated with RD, ADHD, or MD and which are shared risk factors across two or more of these domains, and multivariate twin analyses will be conducted to test the etiology of these associations.

Public Health Relevance

Reading disability (RD), math disability (MD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are common disorders of childhood that often co-occur due to unknown causes. This study will administer measures of neuropsychological functioning to two large longitudinal studies of twins to assess the genetic, environmental, and neuropsychological factors that lead to stability and change in each disorder and the specific factors that lead to their frequent co-occurrence.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HD068728-03
Application #
8432057
Study Section
Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology Study Section (BGES)
Program Officer
Miller, Brett
Project Start
2011-04-15
Project End
2016-01-31
Budget Start
2013-02-01
Budget End
2014-01-31
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$563,300
Indirect Cost
$126,669
Name
University of Colorado at Boulder
Department
Genetics
Type
Other Domestic Higher Education
DUNS #
007431505
City
Boulder
State
CO
Country
United States
Zip Code
80309
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Wadsworth, Sally J; DeFries, John C; Willcutt, Erik G et al. (2016) Genetic Etiologies of Comorbidity and Stability for Reading Difficulties and ADHD: A Replication Study. Twin Res Hum Genet 19:647-651
Soden, Brooke; Christopher, Micaela E; Hulslander, Jacqueline et al. (2015) Longitudinal stability in reading comprehension is largely heritable from grades 1 to 6. PLoS One 10:e0113807
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Greven, Corina U; Kovas, Yulia; Willcutt, Erik G et al. (2014) Evidence for shared genetic risk between ADHD symptoms and reduced mathematics ability: a twin study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 55:39-48
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Wang, Zhe; Hart, Sara Ann; Kovas, Yulia et al. (2014) Who is afraid of math? Two sources of genetic variance for mathematical anxiety. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 55:1056-64

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