Familial Aggregation of Psychiatric Disorders in a Community Sample of Adolescents
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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether specific psychiatric disorders and suicide attempts ascertained in a community sample of adolescents show evidence of familial aggregation. METHOD: Fifty-eight adolescent probands recruited from the community and their relatives were assessed as to the presence of specific DSM-III Axis I disorders and suicide attempt, using a combination of family study and family history methodology. RESULTS: In first-degree relatives, there was evidence for specific familial aggregation of suicide attempt (odds ratio [OR] = 12.1 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3 to 111.0), substance abuse (OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.1 to 6.7), and any Axis I disorder (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.3 to 4.6), even after demographic confounders and familial comorbidity were controlled. Similarly, among second-degree relatives, in analyses controlling for potentials confounders, the disorders-specific aggregation of suicide attempt (OR = 12.3, 95% CI = 1.2 to 130.0), substance abuse (OR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.6 to 4.8), and any Axis I disorder (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.0 to 2.2) persisted. CONCLUSIONS: The familial aggregation of suicide attempts and psychiatric disorders, particularly of substance abuse and any Axis I disorder, occurs in community samples and is not primarily attributable to referral status.
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