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Cardiff Depression Study: A sib-pair study of life events and famility in major depression

  • Anne Farmer (a1), Tanya Harris (a2), Kate Redman (a2), Stephanie Sadler (a2), Arshad Mahmood (a2) and Peter McGuffin (a1)...
Extract
Background

An excess of both depression and undesirable life events in first-degree relatives of probands with depression as compared with controls has been reported. This association may have reflected a familial factor in common.

Aims

To examine the familiality of life events and depression and whether there may be a common familial factor influencing vulnerability to depression and the experiencing of life events.

Method

In a sib-pairdesign, 108 probands with depression and their siblings were compared with 105 healthy controls and their siblings for psychopathology and life events.

Results

The lifetime relative risk of depressive disorder in the siblings of depressed subjects as compared with siblings of controls was 9.74, although these groups did not differ in the life events measures. Several categories of events showed significant sibling correlations, but this was due to the same event affecting both members of the pair.

Conclusions

Although depressive disorder was strongly familial, the familial effects on life events were largely explained by shared experiences. There was no evidence for a common factor influencing both depression and life events.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Anne Farmer, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, London
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Declaration of interest

The study was funded by a project grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Footnotes
References
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Bebbington, P. E., Bruagha, T., McCarthy, B., et al (1988) The Camberwell Collaborative Depression Study: I. Depressed probands: adversity and the form of depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 754765.
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McGuffin, P., Katz, R., Aldrich, J., et al (1988a) The Camberwell Collaborative Depression Study: II. The investigation of family members. British Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 766774.
McGuffin, P., Katz, R., & Bebbington, P. E., (1988b) The Camberwell Collaborative Depression Study III. Depression and adversity in the relatives of depressed probands. British Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 775782.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Cardiff Depression Study: A sib-pair study of life events and famility in major depression

  • Anne Farmer (a1), Tanya Harris (a2), Kate Redman (a2), Stephanie Sadler (a2), Arshad Mahmood (a2) and Peter McGuffin (a1)...
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