Association between tendencies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the 2D:4D digit ratio: a cross-cultural replication in Germany and China.
Prenatal testosterone is considered to be a possible factor contributing to the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology, but findings regarding the connection between individual variations in prenatal testosterone exposure as (indirectly) indexed by the second-to-fourth digit (2D:4D) ratio and ADHD remain inconsistent. To clarify the inconsistent findings and to facilitate generalization on the association between subclinical variations in ADHD tendencies and lower 2D:4D ratios the current study applied a cross-cultural replication approach employing independent healthy adult cohorts from Germany and China. Samples from Germany and China were matched for gender and age (in each sample n = 96, n = 96; age: M = 21.47, SD = 2.55; age: M = 21.36, SD = 2.28). All participants filled in the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Symptom Checklist (ASRS) and provided hand scans to measure 2D:4D ratios. The German sample had significantly higher 2D:4D ratios than the Chinese sample but in both samples males had significantly lower 2D:4D ratios than females. The hypothesised negative association between 2D:4D ratios and ADHD tendencies was observed on a descriptive level in German and Chinese males and with one exception in Chinese females. But only in German males correlations gained significance (range: r = -0.198 to r = -0.177). The observed effect sizes are in line with former research that was conducted in samples from different cultures. In future research on the connection between testosterone and ADHD not only prenatal but also postnatal testosterone as well as possible moderators like childhood maltreatment should be taken into account.Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.