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Psychopathology among Offspring of Parents with Substance Abuse and/or Anxiety Disorders: A High-risk Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 1998

Kathleen R. Merikangas
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, U.S.A.
Lisa C. Dierker
Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, U.S.A.
Peter Szatmari
McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
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This paper reports the results of a high-risk study of children under age 18 of parents who served as probands in a family study of comorbidity of substance abuse and anxiety disorders. There was a strong degree of specificity of familial aggregation of both the anxiety disorders and substance disorders. Rates of conduct disorder and depression were elevated among offspring of all affected parents. Inclusion of co-parent disorders in the evaluation of familial transmission in the present study strengthened the findings regarding the specificity of transmission of the anxiety disorders and the links between both parental substance abuse and antisocial personality with child conduct disorder.

Research Article
© 1998 Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry

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