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European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 419–427

First Online: 29 June 2011Received: 14 February 2011Accepted: 08 June 2011


The first aim of this study was to identify developmental trajectories of Attention Problems in twins followed from age 6 to 12 years. Second, we investigated whether singletons follow similar trajectories. Maternal longitudinal ratings on the Attention Problems AP subscale of the Child Behavior Checklist were obtained for a sample of 12,486 twins from the Netherlands Twin Register and for a general population sample of 1,346 singletons. Trajectories were analyzed by growth mixture modeling in twins, and compared with singletons. Teacher ratings on the AP subscale of the Teachers’ Report Form were available for 7,179 twins and 1,211 singletons, and were used for cross-sectional mean comparisons at each age. All analyses were conducted for boys and girls separately. We identified three linear trajectories in both boys and girls, i.e., stable low 62–71%, low-increasing 15–18%, and high-decreasing 14–21%. Singletons followed three identical trajectories, with similar class proportions. Teacher ratings yielded no differences in mean levels of Attention Problems between twins and singletons. The development of Attention Problems from age 6 to 12 years can be characterized by stable low, low-increasing, and high-decreasing developmental trajectories. Twins and singletons are comparable with respect to the development of Attention Problems in childhood.

KeywordsADHD Attention Problems Developmental trajectories Twins Singletons AbbreviationsCBCLChild Behavior Checklist

BICBayesian information criterion

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