Heredity and Environment in the Functional Psychoses

Heredity and Environment in the Functional Psychoses

An Epidemiological–Clinical Twin Study

1st Edition - January 1, 1967

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  • Author: Einar Kringlen
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483195780

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Heredity and Environment in the Functional Psychoses involves an epidemiological clinical study of twins carried out at the University Psychiatric Institute in Oslo. The author reviews the history and nosological aspects of psychiatry. In his study of twin genetics, the author seeks to answer the questions "What is inherited?" and "How is it inherited?" In his review of 342 pairs of twins in the Central Register of Psychosis, his study had the following aims: to obtain true concordance figures for all types of functional psychoses; to study problems pertaining to nosology; and to study a larger sample of discordant pairs in order to clarify crucial environmental factors. His findings show that concordance figures for schizophrenia are 25-38 per cent in monozygotic twins and 4-10 per cent ion dizygotic twins. He points out that the difference in such concordance rates between the two types of twins is statistically significant. The data supports the (weak) assumption of a genetic factor in the etiology of schizophrenia. Behavioral scientists, psychiatrists, child psychologists, and researchers involved in genetics will find this book helpful and informative.

Table of Contents

  • I Introduction

    Historical Survey


    Nosological Aspects

    Heredity and Environment

    The Rationale of the Twin Method

    Methodological Problems

    General Remarks

    Concordance Figures

    Brief Review of Earlier and Current Twin Studies

    General Remarks

    Twin Studies in Psychosis

    II Aims of the Investigation

    III Sample and Methods

    The Registries

    The Birth Register

    The Twin Register

    The Central Register of Psychosis

    Comparison of the Twin Register with the Register of Psychosis

    Hospital Records

    The Population Registers

    Zygosity Diagnosis

    Psychiatric Investigation of the Families

    An Anecdote

    The Reliability of the Psychiatric Interview

    Supplementary Information

    Coding of Data

    IV Classification

    Psychiatric Diagnosis


    Schizophreniform Psychosis

    Borderline States

    Reactive Psychosis

    Manic-Depressive Psychosis

    Organic Psychosis



    Syndrome Diagnosis

    Global Mental Health Rating

    Reliability of Psychiatric Classification

    V Statistical Procedure

    VI Frequency of Functional Psychosis in the Twin Sample in Comparison with the General Population


    VII Survey of the Sample

    Sex, Age, Zygosity

    Age at Onset of Schizophrenia

    Type of Onset

    VIII Concordance

    Calculation of Concordance Rates

    Concordance Figures


    Reactive Psychosis

    Manic-Depressive Psychosis

    Summary of the Monozygotic Pairs with Regard to Concordance

    Sex and Concordance

    Severity and Concordance

    Discussion of Methodology

    Sources of Error due to Sampling

    Sources of Error due to Doubtful Zygosity Diagnosis

    Sources of Error due to Risk Period

    IX Comparison of Own Findings to Previous Studies

    Concordance Figures for Schizophrenia

    Sex and Concordance in Schizophrenia

    Severity and Concordance in Schizophrenia

    Concordance Figures for Manic-depressive Psychosis

    Sex and Concordance in Manic-Depressive Psychosis

    X The Co-Twin's Personality

    The Co-twins of the Schizophrenic Monozygotic Twins


    The Co-twin of the Monozygotic Twin with Reactive Psychosis

    The Co-twin of the Manic-depressive Monozygotic Twin

    Comparison of Syndromes

    XI The Twin Relationship

    XII Factors in Childhood and Adolescence Related to Schizophrenia

    Birth Order, Birth Weight, and Physique

    Personality Traits in Childhood

    Nervous Symptoms in Childhood

    School Performances

    Premorbid Personality Traits

    Sex Life

    Social Adjustment


    XIII Comparison between the Schizophrenic Concordant and Discordant Cases

    The Genetic Hypothesis

    The Environmental Hypothesis

    XIV The Social Environment

    Social Class

    Social Isolation

    Family Relations

    XV The Parents and the Siblings

    Personality Deviations and Illness in the Parents

    Personality Deviations in the Siblings

    Association of Mental Health by Sex

    Impressionistic Data on the Sibling Positions

    XVI Twins Brought Up Apart

    Own Findings


    XVII General Discussion and Conclusion

    XVIII Summary

    Appendix 1 Summary Table of the Monozygotic Pairs

    Appendix 2 Four Twin Case Histories

    Appendix 3 Explanatory Notes and Abbreviations

    Appendix 4 Papers Based on Research Reported in this Book


    Author Index

    Subject Index

    Publisher's Note

    The Case Histories of the Schizophrenic and the Schizophreniform Twins and Their Cotwins are to Be Found in a Second Volume (In This Book Designated Volume 2 ) Which has been Printed on Offset by Universitetsforlaget

Product details

  • No. of pages: 202
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2013
  • Published: January 1, 1967
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483195780

About the Author

Einar Kringlen

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