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BEHAVIORAL AND MENTAL DISORDERS


GENETICS, ADOPTION AND MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS

The genetic components of various mental disorders have been investigated in hundreds of twin, family aggregation, and adoption studies. Possible or likely genetic factors have been identified for a number of psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, affective disorders, antisocial behavior, conduct disorder, autism, dyslexia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder. Tourette Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been linked to such factors.

In this section, the links between mental disorders and adoption are reviewed. It is prudent to interpret these data with caution, as many factors contribute to the development of such problems.

Adoption studies may be biased by variations in age at adoption, pre-adoptive placement, age at evaluation, and experiences in the adoptive home. For example, adoptive families may themselves have increased incidence of mental disorders and stress. Accurate and complete information about birth families may also be lacking, especially about birth fathers.

 

From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.

 

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