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  • Schizophrenia appears to run in families, genetic studies have shown that have a family member with schizophrenia increases your likelihood of developing the disorder.
  • Children of two affected parents = 46%
  • Grandchildren = 5%
  • Dizygotic; and Children of one affect parent = 17%
  • Likelihood of inheriting schizophrenia
  • Monozygotic twins = 48%
  • General population = 1%
  • Gottesman and Shields (1966) (Twin study)
  • Aim: To investigate the relative importance of genetic and environmental influences of schizophrenia by comparing MZ and DZ twins
  • 1. Wanted to know the extend to which Schizophrenia was genetic 2. Wanted to replicate other studies that had found a genetic link with schizophrenia
  • Collected secondary data from hospital records of twins from a hospital. From a sample of 392 patients with twins of the same sex, born between 1893 and 1945 that has survived to age 15 (from a total of about 45,000 psychiatric patients) 57 twin pairs were selected aged between 19-64 years (av. age 37)
  • Information obtained: Case histories based on self-report questionnaire and interview with the twins and their parents to provide a record of verbal behaviour. A personality test. A test used to measure disordered thinking conducted on twins and parents.
  • Case history
  • X 57
  • Findings: Analysis of the data looked for similarities between the twins in each pair and was assessed in 3 different ways: Grade 1: both client and co-twin have been hospitalised and diagnosed with schizophrenia Grade 2: both client and co-twin have had psychiatric hospitalisation but the co-twin has a different diagnosis Grade 3: the co-twin has some psychiatric abnormality (eg. GP care, neurotic or psychotic personality profile or being abnormal on interview)
  • Grade | MZ (%) | DZ (%)
  • Normal
  • 1 2 3
  • 21
  • 42 12 25
  • 55
  • 9 9 27
  • NATURE: Genes play an important because the concordance rate is higher in MZ twins than DZ (MZ twins at least 48 times more likely to have schizophrenia than someone in the general public). There is some evidence to suggest that there is a set of genes responsible but not one in particular.
  • NURTURE: Environmental factors must also be important. The diathesis model suggests that individuals have a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia which is in part triggered from the environment. It could be that particular genes lowers the threshold for coping with stress
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