41 Scopus citations


This study examines the prevalence of psychiatric dysfunction in the children of parents diagnosed with affective disorders. Sixty children from 37 proband families were compared to 43 children from 26 families obtained from matched controls as well as 20 children from 13 medically ill families. Group differences in diagnosable childhood disorders and familial characteristics are investigated. Significantly more disorders and symptoms were noted in the children with psychiatrically ill parents as compared to children from matched controls and medically ill parents. Using logistic and Cox survival analyses, correlates for the risk of affective disorder, attention deficit and conduct disorder in the children were examined. Maternal depression and paternal alcoholism were related to the risk for depression in the child. The child's sex and the presence of affective disorders in the father were significantly related to the risk for attention deficit disorder. Maternal alcoholism, parental divorce and the type of subject (proband or control family) were significantly related to the risk for conduct disorder. The findings are discussed relative to results from earlier studies on rates of disorder in the offspring of depressed parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-302
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988


  • Offspring of depressed parents
  • Psychiatric disorders


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