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Coordination difficulty and internalizing symptoms in adults: A twin/sibling study

Waszczuk, M. A., Leonard, H. C., Hill, E. L. ORCID: 0000-0003-3130-1271 , Rowe, R. & Gregory, A. M. (2016). Coordination difficulty and internalizing symptoms in adults: A twin/sibling study. Psychiatry Research, 239, pp. 1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.02.044


Increased anxiety and depression symptoms have been reported in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, and have been found to be associated with motor coordination difficulties, but little is known about the aetiology of these associations. This study aimed to assess genetic, shared (making twins/siblings alike) and non-shared (individual-specific) environmental influences on the association between poor coordination and symptoms of anxiety and depressed mood using a sample of adult twin and sibling pairs. Participants were asked about their coordination skill and anxiety and depression symptoms. About half of the variance in coordination difficulty was explained by familial (combined genetic and shared environmental) influences, with the remaining variance explained by non-shared environmental influences. Phenotypic associations between coordination and anxiety (r = .46) and depression symptoms (r = .44) were largely underpinned by shared familial liability for the three traits. Non-shared environment accounted for about a third of the phenotypic association. Results suggest that both familial and non-shared environmental influences play a role in the aetiology of coordination difficulty and its association with internalizing symptoms. The current study highlights that both biological and environmental pathways shared between these symptoms should be examined in future research to inform prevention and treatment approaches in clinical settings.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Anxiety, Coordination, Depression, Developmental coordination disorder, Twin study
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
SWORD Depositor:
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