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Causes and risk factors
The importance of the environment in the transmission of anxiety between parents and their adolescent offspring
  1. Polly Waite,
  2. Cathy Creswell
  1. School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Polly Waite, p.l.waite{at}

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ABSTRACT FROM: Eley TC, McAdams TA, Rijsdijk FV, et al. The Intergenerational Transmission of Anxiety: A Children-of-Twins Study. Am J Psychiatry 2015;172:630–7.

What is already known on this topic

Anxiety disorders can run in families and both genetic and environmental influences have been implicated in this association. Although paediatric twin studies are able to ascertain the proportion of variance in child/adolescent phenotypes due to genetic and environmental influences, to date, they have not been able to specify the extent to which genes and the environment contribute to the transmission of anxiety between parents and their children, that is, whether similarities in the amount of anxiety experienced by parents and their offspring are accounted for by sharing genes, living together or both. For this, other genetically sensitive designs are needed. The children-of twins model is one such design and involves adult twin pairs and their offspring.1

Methods of the study

The …

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  • Competing interests None declared.