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March 1979

Adopted-away Offspring

Author Affiliations

184 Ward St Newton Center, MA 02159

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(3):361. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780030127013

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To the Editor.—  In regard to the article in the Archives "Psychopathology in Adopted-away Offspring of Biologic Parents With Antisocial Behavior" by Cadoret (35:176-184, 1978), the author's conclusion that there is a "Significant correlation of antisocial adoptee diagnosis in the adult adoptee sample with a biologic parent diagnosis of antisocial personality or behavior" does not appear to be supported by the data presented. He notes that there are four adult adoptees with antisocial diagnoses as compared with 18 biologic parent antisocial diagnoses, resulting in 22% incidence. However, three of four of the adoptees had biologic mothers who were retarded. This obscures the data in that retarded women may more easily be led into various behaviors without necessarily being antisocial themselves. In addition, the offspring of such women are at risk for neurological abnormalities.Thus, Cadoret's sample of antisocial biologic parents might have been better reduced to 12 with but one

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