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The frequent clustering of disruptive behaviors in siblings and biological relatives supports the impression that genetic factors may play a role in these disorders, but genetic studies on ODD have reported mixed findings. A twin study suggested genetic vulnerability for comorbid ODD, CD, and ADHD (Nadder et al. 2002). Separate research on 42 candidate genes for ADHD suggested association with ODD (Comings et al. 2000). Other genetic studies have associated ODD with the androgen receptor gene (Comings et al. 1996) and three dopaminergic genes (dopamine D2 receptor, DRD2; dopamine-beta-hydroxylase, DBH; and dopamine transporter, DAT1; Comings et al. 1999), but some of these samples included participants with Tourette's disorder, suggesting that the oppositional defiant behavior is dependent on the presence of other concurrent psychopathology.

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