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Influence of parental concordance for psychiatric disorders on psychopathology in offspring.

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  • 1Wesleyan University, Department of Psychology, Middletown, CT 06459, USA. ldierker@wesleyan.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the influence of parental mating types for substance abuse and anxiety/affective disorders on the risk of psychopathology among child and adolescent offspring.

METHOD:

Emotional and behavioral disorders were assessed in offspring, aged 7 to 17 years, of male and female parents who served as probands from a family study of comorbidity of substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

RESULTS:

The findings indicated that (1) patterns of psychopathology among offspring were similar for mothers and fathers; (2) spouse concordance for psychopathology was greater among parents with substance abuse than among those with anxiety, particularly among female substance abusers; (3) there was a direct relationship between the number of affected parents and the magnitude of psychopathology in children, particularly with respect to the anxiety disorders; and (4) by contrast, rates of conduct disorder were elevated only among offspring of dually affected parents, irrespective of the specific parental disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings underscore the importance of the contribution of both mothers and fathers, particularly those with concordance for psychiatric disorders, to the development of psychopathology in offspring.

PMID:
10087689
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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