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July 1977

Alcoholism and Depression in Adopted-Out Daughters of Alcoholics

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City (Dr Goodwin); the Psykologisk Institut, Department of Psychiatry, Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen (Drs Schulsinger, Knop, and Mednick); and the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis (Dr Guze).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(7):751-755. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770190013001

• Forty-nine daughters of alcoholics were compared to 47 daughters of nonalcoholics; both groups of women (average age, 35 years) had been adopted by nonrelatives early in life. Two women in each group were alcoholic or problem drinkers. Although this is above the expected rate of alcoholism among women, the numbers are too small to draw definite conclusions. Almost all were light drinkers. Daughters of alcoholics had no more depression than controls, indicating that alcoholism in the biological parents did not increase the risk of depression in daughters raised by foster parents. Environmental factors may be important in both alcoholism and depression in women, since both tended to be correlated with psychopathology in the foster parents.