Spousal resemblance in psychopathology: A comparison of parents of children with and without psychopathology

Laura W. Wesseldijk, Gwen C. Dieleman, Ramon J. L. Lindauer, M. Bartels, G. Willemsen, J. Hudziak, Dorret I. Boomsma, C. M. Middeldorp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Spouses resemble each other for psychopathology, but data regarding spousal resemblance in externalizing psychopathology, and data regarding spousal resemblance across different syndromes (e.g. anxiety in wives and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] in husbands) are limited. Moreover, knowledge is lacking regarding spousal resemblance in parents of children with psychiatric disorders. We investigated and compared spousal resemblance within and across internalizing and externalizing symptom domains in parents of children with and without psychopathology. Methods: Symptoms of depression, anxiety, avoidant personality, ADHD, and antisocial personality were assessed with the Adult Self Report in 728 mothers and 544 fathers of 778 children seen in child and adolescent psychiatric outpatient clinics and in 2075 mothers and 1623 fathers of 2784 children from a population-based sample. Differences in symptom scores and spousal correlations between the samples were tested. Results: Parents in the clinical sample had higher symptom scores than in the population-based sample. In both samples, correlations within and across internalizing and externalizing domains of psychopathology were significant. Importantly, correlations were significantly higher in the clinical sample (P = 0.03). Correlations, within and across symptoms, ranged from 0.14 to 0.30 in the clinical sample and from 0.05 to 0.23 in the population-based sample. Conclusions: This large study shows that spousal resemblance is not only present within but also across symptom domains. Especially in the clinical sample, ADHD symptoms in fathers and antisocial personality symptoms in mothers were correlated with a range of psychiatric symptoms in their spouses. Clinicians need to be alert of these multiple affected families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

Cite this

Wesseldijk, L. W., Dieleman, G. C., Lindauer, R. J. L., Bartels, M., Willemsen, G., Hudziak, J., ... Middeldorp, C. M. (2016). Spousal resemblance in psychopathology: A comparison of parents of children with and without psychopathology. European Psychiatry, 34, 49-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.01.2423
Wesseldijk, Laura W. ; Dieleman, Gwen C. ; Lindauer, Ramon J. L. ; Bartels, M. ; Willemsen, G. ; Hudziak, J. ; Boomsma, Dorret I. ; Middeldorp, C. M. / Spousal resemblance in psychopathology : A comparison of parents of children with and without psychopathology. In: European Psychiatry. 2016 ; Vol. 34. pp. 49-55.
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abstract = "Background: Spouses resemble each other for psychopathology, but data regarding spousal resemblance in externalizing psychopathology, and data regarding spousal resemblance across different syndromes (e.g. anxiety in wives and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] in husbands) are limited. Moreover, knowledge is lacking regarding spousal resemblance in parents of children with psychiatric disorders. We investigated and compared spousal resemblance within and across internalizing and externalizing symptom domains in parents of children with and without psychopathology. Methods: Symptoms of depression, anxiety, avoidant personality, ADHD, and antisocial personality were assessed with the Adult Self Report in 728 mothers and 544 fathers of 778 children seen in child and adolescent psychiatric outpatient clinics and in 2075 mothers and 1623 fathers of 2784 children from a population-based sample. Differences in symptom scores and spousal correlations between the samples were tested. Results: Parents in the clinical sample had higher symptom scores than in the population-based sample. In both samples, correlations within and across internalizing and externalizing domains of psychopathology were significant. Importantly, correlations were significantly higher in the clinical sample (P = 0.03). Correlations, within and across symptoms, ranged from 0.14 to 0.30 in the clinical sample and from 0.05 to 0.23 in the population-based sample. Conclusions: This large study shows that spousal resemblance is not only present within but also across symptom domains. Especially in the clinical sample, ADHD symptoms in fathers and antisocial personality symptoms in mothers were correlated with a range of psychiatric symptoms in their spouses. Clinicians need to be alert of these multiple affected families.",
keywords = "ADHD, Antisocial behavior, Depression, Psychopathology, Spousal resemblance",
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Wesseldijk, LW, Dieleman, GC, Lindauer, RJL, Bartels, M, Willemsen, G, Hudziak, J, Boomsma, DI & Middeldorp, CM 2016, 'Spousal resemblance in psychopathology: A comparison of parents of children with and without psychopathology' European Psychiatry, vol. 34, pp. 49-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.01.2423

Spousal resemblance in psychopathology : A comparison of parents of children with and without psychopathology. / Wesseldijk, Laura W.; Dieleman, Gwen C.; Lindauer, Ramon J. L.; Bartels, M.; Willemsen, G.; Hudziak, J.; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Middeldorp, C. M.

In: European Psychiatry, Vol. 34, 01.04.2016, p. 49-55.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Spousal resemblance in psychopathology

T2 - A comparison of parents of children with and without psychopathology

AU - Wesseldijk, Laura W.

AU - Dieleman, Gwen C.

AU - Lindauer, Ramon J. L.

AU - Bartels, M.

AU - Willemsen, G.

AU - Hudziak, J.

AU - Boomsma, Dorret I.

AU - Middeldorp, C. M.

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N2 - Background: Spouses resemble each other for psychopathology, but data regarding spousal resemblance in externalizing psychopathology, and data regarding spousal resemblance across different syndromes (e.g. anxiety in wives and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] in husbands) are limited. Moreover, knowledge is lacking regarding spousal resemblance in parents of children with psychiatric disorders. We investigated and compared spousal resemblance within and across internalizing and externalizing symptom domains in parents of children with and without psychopathology. Methods: Symptoms of depression, anxiety, avoidant personality, ADHD, and antisocial personality were assessed with the Adult Self Report in 728 mothers and 544 fathers of 778 children seen in child and adolescent psychiatric outpatient clinics and in 2075 mothers and 1623 fathers of 2784 children from a population-based sample. Differences in symptom scores and spousal correlations between the samples were tested. Results: Parents in the clinical sample had higher symptom scores than in the population-based sample. In both samples, correlations within and across internalizing and externalizing domains of psychopathology were significant. Importantly, correlations were significantly higher in the clinical sample (P = 0.03). Correlations, within and across symptoms, ranged from 0.14 to 0.30 in the clinical sample and from 0.05 to 0.23 in the population-based sample. Conclusions: This large study shows that spousal resemblance is not only present within but also across symptom domains. Especially in the clinical sample, ADHD symptoms in fathers and antisocial personality symptoms in mothers were correlated with a range of psychiatric symptoms in their spouses. Clinicians need to be alert of these multiple affected families.

AB - Background: Spouses resemble each other for psychopathology, but data regarding spousal resemblance in externalizing psychopathology, and data regarding spousal resemblance across different syndromes (e.g. anxiety in wives and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] in husbands) are limited. Moreover, knowledge is lacking regarding spousal resemblance in parents of children with psychiatric disorders. We investigated and compared spousal resemblance within and across internalizing and externalizing symptom domains in parents of children with and without psychopathology. Methods: Symptoms of depression, anxiety, avoidant personality, ADHD, and antisocial personality were assessed with the Adult Self Report in 728 mothers and 544 fathers of 778 children seen in child and adolescent psychiatric outpatient clinics and in 2075 mothers and 1623 fathers of 2784 children from a population-based sample. Differences in symptom scores and spousal correlations between the samples were tested. Results: Parents in the clinical sample had higher symptom scores than in the population-based sample. In both samples, correlations within and across internalizing and externalizing domains of psychopathology were significant. Importantly, correlations were significantly higher in the clinical sample (P = 0.03). Correlations, within and across symptoms, ranged from 0.14 to 0.30 in the clinical sample and from 0.05 to 0.23 in the population-based sample. Conclusions: This large study shows that spousal resemblance is not only present within but also across symptom domains. Especially in the clinical sample, ADHD symptoms in fathers and antisocial personality symptoms in mothers were correlated with a range of psychiatric symptoms in their spouses. Clinicians need to be alert of these multiple affected families.

KW - ADHD

KW - Antisocial behavior

KW - Depression

KW - Psychopathology

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