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August 1980

Decreasing Seasonality of Birth of Schizophrenics

Author Affiliations

California School of Professional Psychology 1350 M St Fresno, CA 93721

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(8):959-960. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780210117014

To the Editor.—  In a study1 using data from seven American and six foreign localities, Templer found a consistent trend for schizophrenics to be born in cold months and conceived in warm months. There was a significant tendency for these negative birth-temperature correlations to be greater in localities with colder winters. Contrary to expectation, there was a Significant tendency for the conceptiontemperature correlations to be greater in localities with cooler summers. The conception-temperature correlations, and to a lesser extent the birth-temperature correlations, were generally larger in European than in American localities. Templer maintained that his findings were consistent with both a harmful temperature influence and a genetic morphism explanation. The harmful-influence position is that some sort of unfavorable biologic condition or event (eg, infection or birth trauma) promotes the development of schizophrenia. The genetic-morphism position, which was originally proposed by Huxley et al,2 is that schizophrenia is associated

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