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A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders$
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Karestan C. Koenen, Sasha Rudenstine, Ezra Susser, and Sandro Galea

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657018.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 July 2021

Intergenerational transmission

Intergenerational transmission

(p.273) Chapter 25 Intergenerational transmission
A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders

Virginia Warner

Myrna M. Weissman

Oxford University Press

Intergenerational studies, especially if they are longitudinal, provide critical information on the transmission of mental illness, early signs of a disorder, the consistency of expression by developmental phase, and by generation. This information is useful for planning early interventions to prevent onset of disorders. There have been several intergenerational studies over the years and recently these studies have taken a new direction to identify endophenotypes that can elucidate why offspring from these families are at high risk as well as to understand the mechanisms of intergenerational transmission. Intergenerational studies, particularly cohort studies where parental mental illness is the exposure, allow the identification of endophenotypes that are defined as being in the causal pathway from gene to disease and are not merely correlates of illness. The chapter reviews findings from some of the major multigenerational studies that provide vital information regarding causal factors in familial transmission. An ongoing 30-year, four-generation, study of depression is discussed in more depth.

Keywords:   depression, transmission, endophenotypes, intergenerational

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