Predicting Cognitive Executive Functioning with Polygenic Risk Scores for Psychiatric Disorders

Chelsie E. Benca, Jaime L. Derringer, Robin P. Corley, Susan E. Young, Matthew C. Keller, John K. Hewitt, Naomi P. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Executive functions (EFs) have been proposed as an endophenotype for psychopathology because EF deficits are associated with most psychiatric disorders. To examine this hypothesis, we derived polygenic risk scores for autism, attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depression (MDD), and schizophrenia, using genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium as discovery samples. We then examined the relationships between these polygenic risk scores and three separable EF components measured with a latent variable model. We also examined the relationship between genetic risk for ADHD and MDD and their respective symptom counts and lifetime diagnoses. We found no evidence for larger effect sizes for EFs as endophenotypes for psychiatric disorders. However, larger sample sizes will be important in examining this relationship further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Cognitive control
  • Executive control
  • Intermediate phenotypes
  • Polygenic risk scores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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