W. J. Alexander Gnana Durai 1 , R. Saravana Jothi 2 , A. Arun Kumar 3

ABSTRACT: CONTEXT: Family, Twin and Adoption studies show the inheritance patterns of schizophrenia. The findings from these studies provide support to the claim that familial clustering of schizophrenia is a combined expression of genetic and environmental factors. AIMS: Following the line of previous research, this study attempts to find out any difference in the psychiatric morbidity pattern among the first-degree relatives of familial and sporadic schizophrenics. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among a convenience sample of 100 first-degree relatives (age between 18 to 55 years) of familial (n=22) and sporadic (n=29) schizophrenics from psychiatric outpatient clinic, of a Government Hospital, India. The schizophrenics satisfied the DSM-IV criteria and all the first degree relatives interviewed never had any psychiatric consultation before or were abusing alcohol or other substances or having any organic pathology. METHODS AND MATERIAL: Informed consent from the patients and relatives was obtained. Survey questionnaires were administered and no personal identifying information was collected. Middle Sex Hospital Questionnaire (MHQ), Eysenck's Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), Multi-Phasic Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) and Screening Test for Co-Morbid Personality Disorders (STCPD) were administered to the participants. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: The two groups of relatives were then compared on various scales with each other. The chisquare test was used as statistical test of significance p value of≤0.01 was taken as highly significant and≤ 0.05 considered significant observation for all the variables studied. RESULTS: MHQ illustrates that the two groups differ in anxiety, obsession traits, MPQ demonstrates that the two groups highly differ in schizophrenia, anxiety traits, EPQ depicts that the two groups highly differ in psychoticism, STCPD show that the two groups significantly differ in dependent, avoidant, and borderline personality disorders and The two groups highly differ in schizoid – schizotypal personality disorder, less significantly in paranoid personality disorder using diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia related personality disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Significant differences exist between the first-degree relatives of familial and sporadic schizophrenics. Familial clustering of some of the psychiatric disorder and personality factors lent support to the genetic inheritance of traits/ disorder in the first-degree relatives of familial schizophrenics.