LEC 1 - as well as environmental factors affect...

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Genetic factors and mental disorders Adoption studies Adoption studies are used less frequently than twin studies, but are crucial in researching such conditions as schizophrenia and alcoholism. Studies of schizophrenia done in Denmark, for example, showed that the frequency of schizophrenia was 16% in the biological relatives of patients with schizophrenia who had been adopted as infants, compared with 1.8% in the adoptive relatives and the relatives of a group of adopted children who did not have schizophrenia. Family studies Family studies are important tools for evaluating environmental effects on children with genetic disorders— and also for evaluating the impact of the disorder on the family environment. Family studies have indicated that families may develop problems in response to a child's illness as well as affecting the child's prognosis for recovery. Family factors fall into three categories: shared genetic material; shared environment; and nonshared environment. These three categories are complicated, however, by the fact that genetic
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Unformatted text preview: as well as environmental factors affect interactions between parents and children. For example, a parent's behavior toward a child diagnosed with depression is partly shaped by the parent's genetic vulnerability to depression. In general, much of the impact of a family's environment on a child with a mental disorder is due to nonshared rather than shared interactions. A clinical research measurement called expressed emotion, or EE, originally developed to study young adults with schizophrenia, is now used to study families with younger children with mental disorders. EE measures three primary aspects of family members' attitudes toward the child with the illness: criticism, hostility, and emotional overinvolvement. A growing number of research studies indicate that EE is a good predictor of the outcome of the child's illness; high EE is a marker of a more difficult course of the disorder and a poorer prognosis....
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