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Psychiatry Res. 2011 Jan 30;185(1-2):66-71. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2010.04.018. Epub 2010 May 26.

Communication Deviance in parents of families with adoptees at a high or low risk of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and its associations with attributes of the adoptee and the adoptive parents.

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Oulu University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, BOX 26, FIN-90029 OYS, Finland.


Communication Deviance (CD) in rearing parents is a known indicator of a psychopathology risk in the offspring, but the direction of the effects of these two factors on each other has remained an unresolved question. The purpose of the present study was to clarify this issue by assessing the relationship of CD in adoptive parents with certain attributes of the adoptee and adoptive parents themselves. The subjects were 109 adoptees at a high or low risk of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and their adoptive parents. Communication Deviance was measured in individual, spouse and family Rorschach situations. Thought disorders in the adoptees were assessed using the Thought Disorder Index. The variability of CD in the adoptive parents in individual Rorschach situations was not significantly explained by any characteristics of the child. The variability in parental CD in family Rorschach situations was most closely associated with the characteristics of the parents themselves. The results strongly support the hypotheses that the frequency of Communication Deviance is an enduring trait rather than a fluctuating state and that frequent CD in parent's speech may impair the growing child's cognitive development and predispose him/her to schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

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