The Shared Etiology of Attentional Control and Anxiety: An Adolescent Twin Study. Academic Article uri icon


  • We investigated the etiology of attentional control (AC) and four different anxiety symptom types (generalized, obsessive-compulsive, separation, and social) in an adolescent sample of over 400 twin pairs. Genetic factors contributed to 55% of the variance in AC and between 43 and 58% of the variance in anxiety. Negative phenotypic associations between AC and anxiety indicated that lower attentional ability is related to increased risk for all 4 anxiety categories. Genetic correlations between AC and anxiety phenotypes ranged from -.36 to -.47, with evidence of nonshared environmental covariance between AC and generalized and separation anxiety. Results suggest that AC is a phenotypic and genetic risk factor for anxiety in early adolescence, with somewhat differing levels of risk depending on symptomatology.

published proceedings

  • J Res Adolesc

altmetric score

  • 86.192

author list (cited authors)

  • Gagne, J. R., O'Sullivan, D. L., Schmidt, N. L., Spann, C. A., & Goldsmith, H. H.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Gagne, Jeffrey R||O'Sullivan, Deirdre L||Schmidt, Nicole L||Spann, Catherine A||Goldsmith, H Hill

publication date

  • March 2017