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The Rochester Risk Research Program: A New Look at Parental Diagnoses and Family Relationships

  • Lyman C. Wynne
  • Robert E. Cole

Abstract

During the past 15 years a major thrust in research on the origins and development of schizophrenia and other mental disorders has been the “risk research” strategy. The rationale and early phases of risk research programs was described most fully by Garmezy (1974) and will be reviewed from a more recent vantage point in a forthcoming volume edited by Watt et al. (in press). Part of the impetus for these programs was dissatisfaction with earlier family studies that began only after an offspring already was mentally ill. Did disturbed family relationships precede or follow the onset of mental disorder in the offspring? To answer this question, there was a growing recognition that prospective longitudinal studies were needed to eliminate retrospective distortions about the sequences in development. On the other hand, studying development of psychopathology longitudinally with random population samples would be prohibitively large and expensive. Therefore, a number of research programs selected samples in which a child was believed to be at increased, preferably “high” risk for later serious difficulties. Because the variety of variables constituting “risk,” and the developmental and contextual factors modifying them, are so numerous and interwoven, risk researchers have agreed that a degree of replication across studies, combined with deliberate differences in sampling and in the methods of study used, would accelerate progress optimally. At the University of Rochester Medical Center, a risk research program, begun in 1972, had features in common with other studies and also incorporated a number of distinctive features that need to be identified before one can interpret the findings that are now emerging.

Keywords

Family Interaction Free Play Parental Psychopathology Child Functioning Index Parent 
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

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyman C. Wynne
  • Robert E. Cole

There are no affiliations available

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