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Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1985 Jan;55(1):27-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.1985.tb03419.x.

Early home environment and retrospective recall: a test for concordance between siblings with and without psychiatric disorders.

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Washington University School of Medicine.


Case control studies are a reasonably rapid and inexpensive method of developing causal hypotheses concerning the role of early environment on the development of psychiatric pathology. The current study tested an interview designed to assess early home environment on a group of patients with alcoholism or depression, on a control group free of psychiatric disorder, and on close-in-age siblings in each group. Findings demonstrated substantial agreement, suggesting that interviews requiring recall of childhood environment may be reasonably valid; patient status did not appear to influence agreement or, presumably, validity.

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