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September 1988

Adoptee Studies of Psychiatric Disorders-Reply

Author Affiliations

Intramural Research Program National Institutes of Health Campus Bldg 10, Room 4C-110 Bethesda, MD 20205
Department of Psychiatry University of Utah College of Medicine 50 N Medical Dr Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(9):875-876. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800330109015

—In his opening paragraph, Dr Donovan professes an appreciation of the principles of scientific design, accuracy, and logic, which makes it all the more difficult to understand the cavalier rejection of these principles in his sweeping dismissal of all adoption studies in general, and ours in particular. His statement that the premise on which adoption studies are based is the lack of environmental influence of the biologic parents and relatives on the adoptee is accurate enough, although it is unwarranted and incorrect to state that it is an assumption unquestioned by those who perform such studies. His rather sweeping claim that "This crucial premise can easily and repeatedly be shown to be false in case after case" is unsupported by the inadequate evidence and irrelevant arguments he adduces in its defense.

Dr Donovan bases his argument on two types of observation. The first is some sort of personal "survey of

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