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June 1981

Parental Communication Deviance and Affective Style: Predictors of Subsequent Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders in Vulnerable Adolescents

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(6):679-685. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780310079008

• In an attempt to assess the contributory role of family factors to the development of schizophrenia-like disorders, measures of parental communication deviance and affective styles of communication were obtained for a sample of families of disturbed but nonpsychotic adolescents. Outcome was assessed five years later. Absence of a pathologic affective style was associated with a benign outcome, but neither parental variable alone allowed precise identification of the schizophrenia-spectrum cases. However, an index using a combination of both variables was statistically predictive of subsequent psychiatric status at follow-up. Thus, adolescents whose parents had both a pathologic affective style of communication and a high level of communication deviance had schizophrenia-like disorders develop in young adulthood. Adolescents of parents who had both lower levels of communication deviance and a benign affective style had offspring with healthier outcomes.