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January 1977

Parental Transactional Style Deviance as a Possible Indicator of Risk for Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, University of California at Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(1):71-74. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770130073007

• The presennnce of a pattern of parental transactional style deviance on the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) (a significant attribute of parents of offspring with schizophrenia spectrum disorders) was used to identify a group of disturbed nonpsychotic adolescents hypothesized to be at high risk for subsequently developing schizophreniform psychopathology. Highrisk male adolescents came from two symptom groups, Withdrawn adolescents and adolescents in active family conflict, which are symptom patterns similar to the premorbid pictures of two schizophrenia subtypes. High-risk parents also tended to show transactional style deviance in direct interaction with their child and in a written statement describing their child's problem. The degree of risk was significantly related to the amount of therapy in which the family was subsequently engaged and, at a four-year follow-up, to the level of adjustment of the adolescents seen earlier in the project.