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Articles by F Rijsdijk
Total Records ( 3 ) for F Rijsdijk
  V Hallett , A Ronald , F Rijsdijk and F. Happe

Children with autism spectrum disorders often experience severe anxiety and depression, yet the explanation for this association remains unclear. The authors examined the longitudinal relationship between autistic-like and internalizing traits across middle to late childhood in a population-representative twin sample.


Participants were approximately 6,000 twin pairs born in England and Wales from 1994 to 1996. Parental reports of autistic-like and internalizing traits were analyzed at ages 7 and 8 (timepoint 1) and again at age 12 (timepoint 2). The direction and etiology of the associations between these traits were examined within a cross-lagged design.


Findings revealed an asymmetric bidirectional association between autistic-like and internalizing traits over time. Autistic-like traits at age 7 made a modest but significant contribution to the presence of internalizing traits at age 12. Earlier internalizing traits also influenced the development of later autistic-like traits, although this association was approximately one-half the magnitude. While both traits were moderately to highly heritable, they were largely independent with regard to their genetic influences. Stronger associations were found between the modest shared environmental influences on each trait. Of note, it was autistic-like communication difficulties, rather than social deficits, that made a significant contribution to later internalizing traits.


The association between autistic-like and internalizing traits was attributable to reciprocal processes occurring across childhood, suggesting that these traits may serve to exacerbate each other over time. Autistic-like communication difficulties had the most notable impact. This association must now be explored within samples of children with diagnosed autism spectrum disorders and internalizing disorders, since this may help to inform the best timing and targeting of clinical intervention.

  J Kuntsi , A. C Wood , F Rijsdijk , K. A Johnson , P Andreou , B Albrecht , A Arias Vasquez , J. K Buitelaar , G McLoughlin , N. N. J Rommelse , J. A Sergeant , E. J Sonuga Barke , H Uebel , J. J van der Meere , T Banaschewski , M Gill , I Manor , A Miranda , F Mulas , R. D Oades , H Roeyers , A Rothenberger , H. C Steinhausen , S. V Faraone and P. Asherson

Context  Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with widespread cognitive impairments, but it is not known whether the apparent multiple impairments share etiological roots or separate etiological pathways exist. A better understanding of the etiological pathways is important for the development of targeted interventions and for identification of suitable intermediate phenotypes for molecular genetic investigations.

Objectives  To determine, by using a multivariate familial factor analysis approach, whether 1 or more familial factors underlie the slow and variable reaction times, impaired response inhibition, and choice impulsivity associated with ADHD.

Design  An ADHD and control sibling-pair design.

Setting  Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Participants  A total of 1265 participants, aged 6 to 18 years: 464 probands with ADHD and 456 of their siblings (524 with combined-subtype ADHD), and 345 control participants.

Main Outcome Measures  Performance on a 4-choice reaction time task, a go/no-go inhibition task, and a choice-delay task.

Results  The final model consisted of 2 familial factors. The larger factor, reflecting 85% of the familial variance of ADHD, captured 98% to 100% of the familial influences on mean reaction time and reaction time variability. The second, smaller factor, reflecting 13% of the familial variance of ADHD, captured 62% to 82% of the familial influences on commission and omission errors on the go/no-go task. Choice impulsivity was excluded in the final model because of poor fit.

Conclusions  The findings suggest the existence of 2 familial pathways to cognitive impairments in ADHD and indicate promising cognitive targets for future molecular genetic investigations. The familial distinction between the 2 cognitive impairments is consistent with recent theoretical models—a developmental model and an arousal-attention model—of 2 separable underlying processes in ADHD. Future research that tests the familial model within a developmental framework may inform developmentally sensitive interventions.

  A. P Jones , H Larsson , A Ronald , F Rijsdijk , P Busfield , A Mcmillan , R Plomin and E. Viding

Some behavioural overlap exists between psychopathic tendencies and autistic traits, and both phenotypes are thought to be associated with problems in empathy. However, the broad behavioural profiles and the cognitive-affective deficits associated with the two conditions are at least partly separable. The main aim of this study was to assess the extent to which the aetiology of psychopathic tendencies is independent of autistic traits. A secondary aim was to study the aetiology of emotion attribution ability and its association with psychopathic tendencies and autistic traits. Based on data from a sample of 642 twin pairs, the genetic and nonshared environmental influences related to psychopathic tendencies were largely unique to each phenotype. Common environmental influences between psychopathic tendencies and autistic traits overlapped. Poorer emotion attribution ability was associated with increased psychopathic tendencies and autistic traits, and these associations were mainly explained by common genetic factors.

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