A multiwave multi-informant study of the specificity of the association between parental and offspring psychiatric disorders

Columbia University, New York, NY 10027-6902, USA.
Comprehensive Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.25). 05/2006; 47(3):169-77. DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2005.05.005
Source: PubMed


The present study was conducted to investigate the specificity of the association between parental and offspring psychiatric disorders using epidemiological data from a series of parent and offspring interviews. A community-based sample of 593 mothers and their offspring from upstate New York were interviewed during the adolescence and early adulthood of the offspring. The children of parents with generalized anxiety disorder were at specifically elevated risk for anxiety disorders when co-occurring psychiatric disorders were controlled. The associations between parental and offspring antisocial, conduct, depressive, and substance use disorders were characterized by modest specificity. Children of parents with externalizing disorders were nearly as likely to develop internalizing disorders as they were to develop externalizing disorders. Children of parents with internalizing disorders were somewhat, but not significantly, more likely to develop internalizing disorders. These findings support the inference that children of parents with generalized anxiety disorder may be more likely to develop anxiety disorders than they are to develop other psychiatric disorders. However, when co-occurring psychiatric disorders are accounted for, the children of parents with depressive, disruptive, and substance use disorders may be as likely to develop other disorders as they are to develop the same type of disorder that their parents have had.

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    • "The list of putative transdiagnostic processes or risk factors is quite long (e.g., see D. A. Clark & Taylor, 2009; Dudley, Kuyken, & Padesky, 2010; Mansell et al., 2009). There are a number of environments or experiences that have been reliably linked to many different psychopathologies, including sexual and physical abuse, particularly in childhood (Maniglio , 2009); inconsistent, harsh, or neglectful parenting (Dozois, Seeds, & Collins, 2009); and parental psychopathology (Avenevoli & Merikangas, 2006; Beidel & Turner, 1997; Johnson, Cohen, Kasen, & Brook, 2006). Then there are several intrapersonal factors that are related to a range of psychopathologies . "
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    • "Although not signifi cant, it is possible that a larger cohort would have resulted in positive signifi cant associations between parental antisocial personality disorder and offspring smoking, even after accounting for familial vulnerability. The role of parental antisocial behavior is well established in previous research (Herndon and Iacono, 2005; Hicks et al., 2004; Johnson et al., 2006 "
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    • "Nevertheless, other parental psychopathology (other anxiety, depressive, substance use disorders) were similarly associated with DSM-IV threshold SAD, but also with subthreshold SAD. From that, the familial aggregation of SAD may likely also be determinated by cross-disorder risk factors (Johnson et al. 2006), as well as family based developmental conditions. Concordant with prior studies (Bandelow et al. 2004; Bögels et al. 2001; Lieb et al. 2000b; Taylor and Alden 2006; Woodruff-Borden et al. 2002), offspring reports of higher parental overprotection, rejection and lower emotional warmth were associated with DSM-IV threshold SAD. "
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