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Impact of psychiatric disturbance on identifying psychiatric disorder in relatives: study of mothers and daughters

  • Helen F. Coelho (a1), Peter J. Cooper (a1) and Lynne Murray (a1)


Previous studies have suggested that collecting psychiatric data on relatives in family studies by asking probands to provide information on them leads to a bias in estimates of morbidity risk, because probands' accounts are influenced by their own psychiatric histories. We investigated this in a UK sample and found that daughters' anxiety disorder histories did not influence their reports of anxiety disorder in mothers, but their history of mood disorder/alcohol dependence made them more sensitive in predicting mood disorder/alcohol dependence in mothers.


Corresponding author

Professor Peter J. Cooper, Winnicott Research Unit, School of Psychology, University of Reading, 3 Earley Gate, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AL, UK. E-mail


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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.



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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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Impact of psychiatric disturbance on identifying psychiatric disorder in relatives: study of mothers and daughters

  • Helen F. Coelho (a1), Peter J. Cooper (a1) and Lynne Murray (a1)
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