September 1972

Psychiatric Illness in the Families of Hyperactive Children

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(3):414-417. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750270114018

A systematic psychiatric examination of the parents of 50 hyperactive children and 50 matched control children was carried out. Increased prevalence rates for alcoholism, sociopathy, and hysteria were found in the parents of the hyperactive children.

Ten percent of the parents of the hyperactive children were thought to have been hyperactive children themselves, and, of this 10%, all were psychiatrically ill with alcoholism, sociopathy, or hysteria. The data support the notion that the hyperactive child syndrome is passed from generation to generation and may be a precursor of certain adult psychiatric illnesses.