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February 1978

MMPI Assessment of Psychopathology in the Adopted-Away Offspring of Schizophrenics

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Psychology and Psychopathology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md (Drs Haier and Rosenthal), and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (Dr Wender).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(2):171-175. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770260049004

• Previous studies completed in Denmark show a higher frequency of schizophrenia-related psychopathology in the adopted offspring of schizophrenics than in matched controls. This study adds a psychometric dimension to the earlier reports with an analysis of psychopathology in the adopted offspring of schizophrenics based on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). A combination of MMPI criteria and interviewbased diagnoses identifies 22% of the index cases and 6% of the control cases (P <.01) as having a schizophrenia spectrum disorder. The findings support a genetic hypothesis, but the use of the MMPI does not fully clarify some issues raised in the earlier reports.