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Schizophr Bull. 1987;13(3):425-38.

Review of the NIMH Israeli Kibbutz-City Study and the Jerusalem Infant Development Study.


The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Israeli Kibbutz-City Study has followed the development of offspring of schizophrenic parents from middle childhood through early adulthood. During childhood, a subgroup of offspring of schizophrenic patients showed clear neurobehavioral deficits often accompanied by poor social competence. Early followup data suggest that this subgroup of high-risk children is at greatest risk for adult schizophrenia spectrum illness. The Jerusalem Infant Development Study has followed a similar population of children at risk for schizophrenia from before birth through middle childhood. A subgroup of dysfunctioning in the high-risk children showed sensorimotor dysfunctioning in the first year of life, which was followed by perceptual, motor, and attentional dysfunctioning in childhood--identical to that found in the NIMH cohort. Results from both studies support the hypothesis that schizophrenic illness involves constitutional factors whose expression can be observed as early as infancy. Results also illustrate the importance of using data-analytic approaches that (1) look for subgroups within high-risk groups rather than only group differences between high- and low-risk groups, and (2) examine profiles of behavior rather than only single variables.

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