Earlier today we reported on new research that shows a link between a parent’s mental health and an increase in the likelihood of having a child develop autism. The research examined Swedish hospital records of children born between 1977 and 2003 who were diagnosed with autism and compared them with children who were not diagnosed with autism.

Then the researchers looked at the rates of psychiatric hospitalizations of either parents between the two groups.

The researchers found that mothers and fathers diagnosed with schizophrenia were about twice as likely to have a child diagnosed with autism. They also found higher rates of depression and personality disorders among mothers, but not fathers.

Knowing whether autism might be more prevalent in families with a history of psychiatric problems could better inform future prevention efforts. Whether the link is passed via the environment (e.g., through the family child-rearing environment) or through genetics, or a combination of the two.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 3 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 May 2008
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2008). A Link Between Parents’ Mental Health and Autism. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/05/05/a-link-between-parents-mental-health-and-autism/

 

Recent Comments
  • laws: Did you discover a way of letting go of your anger? My story is similiar to yours and i finally got out in Feb...
  • Julie: Maria, I have never been diagnosed with depression but over the last few years I have felt I do suffer, I read...
  • Faith: Well written! We will never know what was going through Robin Williams’ mind during those last...
  • cathie: Dear thresese, Your post has helped, thank you, I was more ready to hear you, knowing you have personal...
  • black hole: I suffered from depression for about 25 years, attempted suicide and self harm and was hospitalized...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 9258
Join Us Now!