Teacher and Mother Ratings of Attention Problems

Stephanie Schmitz

in Nature, Nurture, and the Transition to Early Adolescence

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195157475
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848065 | DOI:
Teacher and Mother Ratings of                         Attention Problems

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Attention problems are highly prevalent, with rates of occurrence depending on the definition used, and make up to 50% of child psychiatric cases. Previous behavior genetic studies of attention problems have analyzed either twin, family, or adoption data, and reported heritability estimates ranging from 0.55 to 0.98. Adoption studies can provide a direct test for the presence of shared environmental factors by examining the similarity between unrelated siblings growing up in the same family; however, the power will be relatively low in small samples. Previous studies reported that adoptees show an increased incidence of attention problems, as high as 13–21% in some samples. This chapter discusses the results of a study showing that both mothers and teachers rate boys as having more attention problems. Separating the overall score into the aspects of inattention and hyperactivity follows the overall picture in that boys seem to show more of these behaviors than girls. For both sexes, the behaviors were rated as relatively stable during the grade-school years.

Keywords: attention problems; mothers; teachers; heritability; environmental factors; adoptees; boys; inattention; hyperactivity

Chapter.  5958 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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