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July 1989

Family History of Alcoholism in Violent Offenders and Impulsive Fire Setters

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Clinical Studies, DICBR, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Md (Drs Linnoila and De Jong); and Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki (Finland) (Dr Virkkunen).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(7):613-616. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810070039006

• Fifty-six of 58 violent offenders and impulsive fire setters fulfilled the DSM-III criteria for alcohol abuse. Information necessary for evaluation of family history of alcoholism was obtained on 54 subjects. Forty-four of the 54 subjects had first- or second-degree blood relatives with alcoholism. Thirty-five had alcoholic fathers. Subjects with alcoholic fathers had a lower mean cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentration and were more often impulsive than subjects without alcoholic fathers.