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Assessing Hereditary and Sociocultural Factors: Genetics

  • John J. Schwab
  • Mary E. Schwab
Part of the Topics in General Psychiatry book series (TGPS)

Abstract

A brief review of the major findings and research trends in psychiatric genetics is necessary to deepen our understanding of the results of community surveys and studies of the social correlates of mental illness. The long-range goal for researchers in this field is to assess the relative importance of genetic and social factors in the etiology of mental illness, not to continue the age-old heredity versus environment argument. That argument flared into a major controversy in the late 1800s following Darwin’s discoveries, but was considered simplistic by astute scientists such as Sir Francis Galton. Galton, a staunch believer in the role of heredity, in the 1870s carried out the early studies on intelligence that laid the scientific foundation for Binet and Simon’s development of intelligence tests and the concept of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Geneticists now agree that genes are the basic determinants of physical and mental characteristics, but that their expression depends on “many interactions taking place before, at, and after birth.”2

Keywords

Index Case Twin Study Intelligence Quotient Assortative Mating Sociocultural Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Schwab
    • 1
  • Mary E. Schwab
    • 2
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Mental Health CenterBostonUSA

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