February 1985

Alcoholism and Antisocial PersonalityInterrelationships, Genetic and Environmental Factors

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Dr Cadoret, Mr Troughton, and Ms Heywood) and Preventive Medicine (Mr O'Gorman), University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(2):161-167. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790250055007

• In a sample of 127 male and 87 female adult adoptees, antisocial personality and alcohol abuse were related to biologic backgrounds and to environmental factors. In the men, alcohol abuse was increased by a background of problem drinking in first-degree biologic relatives and by drinking problems in the adoptive home. Antisocial personality occurred more frequently in men whose first-degree biologic relatives had antisocial behavior problems. In the women, alcohol abuse was increased in adoptees whose first-degree relatives had problem drinking. Increased alcohol abuse in men and women was not predicted by biologic first-degree relatives with antisocial problems, nor did increased frequency of antisocial personality occur in adoptees with biologic relatives with problem drinking. The results suggest specificity of inheritance of antisocial and alcoholic conditions and the importance of environmental factors.