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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1986 Dec;74(6):555-62.

Identifying children at high somatic risk: long-term effects on mother-child interaction.


The identification of alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency (ATD) by neonatal screening was hypothesized to have had negative long-term effects on the mother-child relationship. This hypothesis was tested by studying selected aspects of mother-child interaction in a structured task situation in the home, and comparing 53 cases with clinically healthy 5-7-year-old children with ATD versus 52 control cases with children without ATD. The mothers in the two groups did not differ notably from each other. However, as compared with controls, ATD-children were found to evidence considerably more problematic behavior in interacting with their mothers (being e.g. inappropriately childish, silly, precocious, inhibited, tense, irritated). The findings were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis of a negative long-term effect of identifying the child's ATD.

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