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Article
August 1986

A Prospective Study of Young Men at High Risk for AlcoholismSocial and Psychological Characteristics

Author Affiliations

Ulla Mikkelsen, CandPsych
From the Psykologisk Institut, University Department of Psychiatry, Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen (Drs Schulsinger and Knop, Mr Teasdale, and Ms Mikkelsen), and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Kansas, Kansas City (Dr Goodwin).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(8):755-760. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800080041006
Abstract

• In a prospective longitudinal study of alcoholism, we applied the high-risk method using a Danish birth cohort (9125 consecutive deliveries, 1959 to 1961). From the cohort, 134 sons of alcoholic fathers (high-risk group) and 70 matched controls without parental alcoholism were selected for study. Extensive data were collected in a multidisciplinary etiologic approach. We report the social and psychological characteristics from a "premorbid" assessment when the subjects were 19 to 20 years old. The high-risk group reported more disrupted familial conditions during childhood than the control group. Both groups had a drinking pattern similar to that of the general Danish population at the same age. No alcoholic subjects were found. The high-risk group was characterized by poor verbal ability and impulsive behavior. We plan a follow-up examination of the sample.

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