The use of therapies for treatment is highly encouraged. Counseling,

The use of therapies for treatment is highly encouraged. Counseling,

Attention-Deficit Hyperreactivity Disorder in Twins and HOW Often Siblings are Affected or Diagnosed

Barbara Maclure

Dr. Daniel Kuchinka

Keiser University

ADHD In Twins and Siblings


Attention-Deficit Hyperreactivity Disorder (ADHD) is also known as Hyperreactivity. This is a disorder that begins during childhood. According to studies, twins are more likely to acquire this condition than singletons. Besides, a child who has an identical twin with ADHD has got a higher chance of developing this disorder (Faraone & Larsson, 2017. The most common symptoms in this disorder include a continued inability to hear, the patient focusing on a specific task for a prolonged time, and the inability to control impulses. Children exhibiting this condition manifest these behaviors quite often and severely than their agemates. A person suffering from this hyperreactivity may experience difficulty in schoolwork, family life, personal tasks, or friendship. ADHD comprise one of the most known disorders during childhood. Furthermore, it is known to affect 3%-5% of school-aged children. ADHD is more prevalent in boy child than in a girl child (Burke & Loeber, 2015). Although the symptoms of this condition may disappear with advanced age, it can persist up to adolescence or even adulthood. It has been estimated that 2% of all adults’ exhibit ADHD.


Diagnosis of this condition is difficult because many children are sometimes hyperreactive, inactive, and impulsive. In the diagnosis of this condition, experts make use of the guidelines that are listed in diagnostic and Statistical Manual and Mental Disorders. The guidelines provide for a child manifesting behavior that is typical of this condition before they reach the age of seven (Lenzi F., 2018). This behavior is expected to last for about six months and has to occur regularly as compared to other children of the same age. The behavior must also be exhibited in two or more settings, like at home or school, instead of just a single setting. There is an existing controversy over the diagnosis of this condition. In America, physicians diagnose ADHD than in any other country globally. Critics have adopted this discrepancy as part of the evidence to disregard psychologists as well clinicians in showing that children with this condition are naturally nuisance or active to parents and teachers (Langer, Garbe, & Tobias Banaschewski, 2015).

How Twins get diagnosed

Children and grown-ups with this condition consistently manifest various degrees of hyperreactivity, impulsiveness, and inattention. Inattention in this case means that those people who exhibit this condition have difficulty in focusing their minds on a single item. A good example is that such people may be quickly bored by assignments or a given task within minutes, may have trouble listening, may make mistakes out of carelessness, and may as well indicate instances of daydream (Jain R, 2016). Children may concentrate on one task that is not interesting. Hyperreactivity also involves a constant motion, which may seem like out of a motor influence. At school, children may fidget or touch things always, disturb their peers and talk in a constant waylaid manner, and may as well make other children impulsive, thereby making them act before they can think. In this case, they may make comments that are not appropriate. While in class, they may interrupt conversations and engage in activities that are likely to cause harm to them. Children who have this condition may as well manifest learning problems that are severe due to their inability to pay attention, follow given instructions, or incomplete assigned tasks.

Additionally, their aggressive behavior makes them unpopular with other children. Following this, children suffering from this condition are usually criticized by others and are always corrected by their parents and teachers, who unknowingly tend to think that such behavior is done intentionally. The child’s poor academic performance, poor social relations, and negative feedback may make develop low self-esteem and other emotional challenges (Jain R, 2016).


It is not yet known even to scientists about the causes of ADHD (Freitag, C. M., & Retz, W. 2010). Nonetheless, scientists have disregarded theories that were highly regarded and accepted before. One theory is that of undetectable brain damage or minor brain damage, which is a result of birth complications or due to infections. Another theory that has been used to explain ADHD is the consumption of refined food addictive or sugar that has been refined. Scientists disregarded this theory on the account that there was no evidence to prove that all the children with ADHD had benefited from food colorings or diets that restricted sugar. Many scientists as well have disregarded the allegation that poor parenting cased ADHD. The majority of the scientists believe that this condition is biological, and its primary cause is an abnormality within the brain (Jain R. 2016). Studies have shown that in people exhibiting ADHD, the part of the brain that regulates the attention span is much less active as compared to other people who do not have this condition. Another thing is that the condition seems to be prominent within families, thus not ruling out genetic factors.

Stephen and Henrick (2010) provide that after decades of research, genes have come to be known to play a very critical role in the attention of ADHD as well as the condition’s comorbidity with other range of disorders. Adoption studies and family and twin studies reveal that this condition runs in families, and has got a very high probability for inheritability, which stands at 74%, and which is motivated by the search for susceptibility ADHD genes. According to Deeann Wallis (2016), today, it is generally agreed that ADHD has got a primary genetic base as well as a biological one. Nonetheless, despite the identification of various candidate genes, none has been found to have a significant impact, and therefore this condition has remained erosive.


Although there is yet to be a cure that is effective for ADHD, there exist a variety of treatments that may be of great assistance to children suffering from this disorder. They comprise of counseling, medication as well as training in social skills. The use of drugs in medication is the most usual form of ADHD treatment and may be useful in reducing the symptoms of this disorder. Doctors also regard stimulants as safe, although they may bring side effects like nervousness, loss of appetite, insomnia, or stomachache (Swarze, Allan, 2013). Drug therapy is known to cause a slow growth rate, but during adolescence, a state of normalcy is restored. It is recommended that children take these drugs during school time, and only take them during weekends when schools are closed, to reduce the adverse side effects likely to arise. According to Geoffrey and Loeber (2015), the program of Stop Now and Plan (SNAP)would help children in problem, and emotional solving skills, prosocial, and as well as reduce parental stress.

The use of therapies for treatment is highly encouraged. Counseling, for example, has been found to help children recognize as well as deal with negative feelings. Social skills may effectively assist children to recognize the way their behavior affects others, and consequently assist them in developing more appropriate behavior (Lenzi FC., 2018). Children who have ADHD may as well benefit from a select category of academic tutors who can lead them in breaking down assignments given in school into parts to address them efficiently. In this case, the results indicate that independent processes may result in effective behavioral outcomes, with specificity concerning the mechanisms that are related to different treatment results (Geoffrey & Lieber, 2015)


Twin and family studies on ADHD condition in both adolescents have manifested an active component that is heritable 60-80% for all cases reported. According to Retz and Clein, (2010), the rate of remittance or persistence of this disorder in an individual’s lifespan shows a heterogenicity of the condition which may as well be found to be made of attentive and the ADHD combination. There can be no conclusion that can be made regarding the general inheritance pattern as family studies, as well as twin studies reveal different inheritance modes (Retz & Clein, 2010). However, studies agree on integrating sex differences concerning the genetic risk of ADHD. The two studies as well agree on the role of the environment in shaping ADHD+CD, which is another subtype of the condition. Another subtype with genetic roots is persistent ADHD during adulthood, which is a solid genetically influenced subtype of ADHD. There are different criteria for diagnosis, depending on the environmental factors and scale methods. Research has been ongoing on how to understand ADHD etiology to understand this condition better and as well treat it. However, the specific causes of ADHD are yet to be known, thus slowing effective diagnosis and treatment.


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Freitag, C. M., & Retz, W. (2010). Family and Twin Studies in Attention-Deficit Hyperreactivity Disorder. Psychology and Psychiatry.

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Langer, I., Garbe, E., & Tobias Banaschewski, R. T. (2015). Twin and Sibling Studies Using Health Insurance Data: The Example of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Open Access.

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