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Article   |    
The Genetics of Alcoholism
Donald W. Goodwin
Psychiatric Services 1983; doi:
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University of Kansas College of Health Sciences and Hospital, 39th and Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas 66103

1983 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

One method of investigating the genetic etiology of alcoholism is to study individuals who were separated soon after birth from their alcoholic biological parents. The author and his colleagues conducted a series of such studies in Denmark; they conduded that, despite little exposure to the alcoholic biological parent, the sons of alcoholics were about four times more likely to be alcoholic than were the sons of nonalcoholics. They alsofound that having an alcoholic biological parent did not increase the sons' risk of developing psychiatric disorders other than alcoholism. After reviewing the results of four other studies that resemble the Danish series, the author discusses two investigations of the possible mode of transmission of alcoholism and describes further evidence for the proposed diagnostic category offamilial alcoholism.

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