Effects of child rearing by schizophrenic mothers A follow-up

Dr. Fini Schulsinger, Co-Director). The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH 20148).
Journal of Psychiatric Research (Impact Factor: 3.96). 02/1976; 13(1):1-9. DOI: 10.1016/0022-3956(76)90004-2
Source: PubMed


Two groups of offspring born to schizophrenic mothers, one group mother-reared, the other reared-apart, were evaluated for pathology 9 yr after an initial evaluation. The assessment techniques were: Current and Past Psychopathology Scales, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Vocabulary subtest, Kent-Rosanoff Word Association Test, Memory-For- Designs test, Embedded Figures Test, Titchener Circles Illusion, Felt Figure Technique, avoidance learning, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, an adjective check list. There was no evidence that rearing by a schizophrenic mother contributes to psychopathology.

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    ABSTRACT: One hundred and two families of patients who fulfilled Feighner's criteria for schizophrenia were studied by Ponnudurai (1) by drawing pedigree charts. The affected relatives failed to manifest any sex wise difference and so did the probands. Parental consanguinity did not seem to augment positive family history. When Slater's computational model was applied to assess the mode of inheritance, the study favored the polygenic hypothesis. FAMILY STUDIES: An individual's FDR (parents, siblings and offsprings) share, on an average, 50% of his genes while his second degree relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles and grand children) share, on an average, 25% of the genes. The advantages of family based genetic research include ease of assembling a large and representative sample, freedom from special problems associated with twins and adoptees and a rich heritage of comparison studies in human genetics literature. Rudin (2) studied the families of a series of almost 1,000 schizophrenics. Almost equal numbers of schizophrenic and affectively ill relatives were found in their families. Subsequently, Schulz (3) re-examined these data and found higher sib expectancies for patients whose illness had an insidious onset, and lower sib expectancies for those with an acute onset, precipitating cause and benign course. Kallman (4) investigated the families of 1.087 patients. The overall expectancy rate for sibs was 11.5%. Second degree relatives - grand-children, nephews and nieces - showed a risk of about 3%. He noted a high incidence of criminal behaviour in his schizophrenic probands and their offspring and he coined the term "schizoid psychopathy" to describe the antisocial and impulsive relatives of schizophrenics. Zeibin-Rudin (5), in a combined series of 25 investigations, presented 8.7% as the minimal expectancy in sibs. For children of index cases where one parent was schizophrenic, the expectancy rate in the combined series was 12%; in Kallman's 16.4%, with about 20% for the nuclear group and 10% for the peripheral group. With both parents schizophrenic, the range in children was between 35 and 68% in the various studies. All these rates, compared to 1-2% expectancy consistently found in the general population, give strong evidence that genetic factors
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