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July 1977

Differentiation of AlcoholicsChildhood History of Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Family History, and Drinking Pattern

Author Affiliations

From the Carrier Clinic Foundation, Belle Mead, NJ. Mr McBride is now at Georgetown Medical School, Washington, DC. Ms Schneider is now at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(7):761-768. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770190023002

• Alcoholics were differentiated into two subgroups on the basis of drinking patterns and subjective response to alcohol. Severe drinkers (primary alcoholics) retrospectively reported more symptoms of childhood minimal brain dysfunction than less severe drinkers (secondary alcoholics), psychiatric patients, and normals. The alcoholics as a group reported a greater incidence of familial alcohol abuse than the psychiatric subjects, but a difference on this factor was not observed between the primary and secondary subgroups. In terms of clinical status, the primary alcoholics presented Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory profile more indicative of normality than the other groups, but scored significantly higher on the MacAndrew Alcoholism Scale. These findings are discussed in light of further delineating a specific subtype of alcoholism that may have a genetic-constitutional relationship with other pathological disorders.