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date: 14 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Quantitative behavioral genetics studies provide strong evidence for heritable influences on the development of externalizing spectrum behaviors that cut across traditional diagnostic boundaries, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and substance use and dependence. In contrast, molecular genetic studies have focused largely on individual disorders. This chapter reviews findings from genome-wide linkage studies, candidate gene studies, and genome-wide association studies of externalizing spectrum disorders, highlighting genes and gene categories that show relations with multiple disorders on the spectrum. Although still somewhat limited, these results provide important insights into the genetic architecture of the externalizing spectrum. The authors also note substantial divergence in findings across study designs, provide potential explanations for such findings, and describe how future studies might resolve these discrepancies.

Keywords: externalizing spectrum disorders, behavior, molecular genetics, genes, genetics studies

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