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Quantitative autistic traits are transmitted intergenerationally and increase risk for autism spectrum disorders
  1. Loren Martin1,
  2. Mary Joann Lang2
  1. 1Department of Graduate Psychology, Azusa Pacific University, 901 E Alosta Ave, Azusa, CA 91702, USA
  2. 2Beacon Day School for Children with Autism and Related Disorders/Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Loren Martin; lamartin{at}

Statistics from

ABSTRACT FROM: Lyall K, Constantino JN, Weisskopf MG, et al. Parental social responsiveness and risk of autism spectrum disorder in offspring. JAMA Psychiatry 2014;71:936–42.

What is already known on this topic

The heritability of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has previously been suggested by studies on twin and other sibling populations.1 ,2 However, ASD may manifest subclinically in some individuals complicating the study of genetic risk factors. The ability to accurately quantify subclinical ASD, or quantitative autistic traits (QAT), is thus critical to the study of ASD heritability. Several previous studies have suggested that QAT are also heritable.3 ,4 This study provides further evidence of the intergenerational transmission of QAT.

Methods of the study

Participants were solicited from a longitudinal cohort of 116 430 nurses who are part of the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II). Cases were index children with …

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  • Competing interests None.

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