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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Heritability of MMPI-2 scales in the UCSF Family Alcoholism Study

The present study evaluated the heritability of personality traits and psychopathology symptoms assessed by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Interview 2nd edition (MMPI-2) in a family-based sample selected for alcohol dependence.

Participants included 950 probands and 1204 first-degree relatives recruited for the UCSF Family Alcoholism Study.

Heritability estimates (h
2) for MMPI-2 scales ranged from .25–.49. When alcohol dependence was used as a covariate, heritability estimates remained significant but generally declined.

However, when the MMPI-2 scales were used as covariates to estimate the heritability of alcohol dependence, scales measuring antisocial behavior (ASP), depressive symptoms (DEP), and addictive behavior (MAC-R) led to moderate increases in the heritability of alcohol dependence.

This suggests that the ASP, DEP, and MAC-R scales may explain some of the non-genetic variance in the alcohol dependence diagnosis in this population when utilized as covariates, and thus may serve to produce a more homogeneous and heritable alcohol dependence phenotype.

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