, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 243-250
Date: 08 Aug 2006

A Case–Control Study of Personality Style and Psychopathology in Parents of Subjects with Autism

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To probe the specificity of traits that might be conceptualised as the broader phenotype of autism, parents of subjects with autism from simplex and multiplex families as well as parents of subjects with obsessive–compulsive disorders (OCD), early onset schizophrenia (EOS) and mental retardation (MR) were assessed using the Personality Style and Disorder Inventory and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. Autism parents’ scores were increased on several subscales (e.g. reserved/schizoid, depression) compared to parents of subjects with OCD, EOS and normative data, but not in comparison to MR parents. Results provide some support for the specificity of the broader phenotype of autism. The burden of raising severely disabled children could not be ruled out as a factor influencing parts of this phenotype.