The Australian Twin ADHD Project: Current status and future directions

Kellie S. Bennett*, David A. Hay, Jan Piek, Jillian Pearsall-Jones, Florence Levy, Neilson Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes the Australian Twin Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Project (ATAP), the results of research conducted using this database and plans for future studies. Information has been actively collected from Australian families with twin children since 1991 for the ATAP database. The value of assessing siblings as well as twins is emphasized. Much work has gone into continuing the involvement of families in the study though this does become more difficult when twins reach maturity. The main focus of the project is ADHD in children and adolescents plus comorbid conditions including conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. A major challenge has been how to retain continuity in the assessments, while at the same time covering changes in psychiatric classification, such as the move to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Changes in the scale can affect the reports of twin similarity. Over the years, these twins have become part of other twin studies and future plans include linking different twin databases to investigate the relationships between childhood behavior and adult conditions. Recruitment, assessment and retention of twin families require a major commitment but create a significant resource for collaboration in areas outside the original aim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-726
Number of pages9
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


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