Get access

I. Genotype-Environment Interaction in the Schizophrenia Spectrum: Genetic Liability and Global Family Ratings in the Finnish Adoption Study


  • This study has been supported in part by NIMH Grant No. MH 39633 (Wynne), the Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Program (Wynne), and the Finnish Academy (Tienari and Moring). The authors thank Jukka Pohjola, Merja Kaleva, Asko Niemelä, Sami Räsänen, Hannu Säävälä, Tarja Lämsä, Kalevi Hassinen, Outi Saarento, Markku Seitamaa, and Kristiina Kurki-Suonio for their participation in interviewing and other aspects of the study.

  • Reprint requests should be addressed to Pekka Tienari, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oulu, PL 5000, 90014 Oulun yliopisto, Finland.

Corresponding concerning this article should be addressed to Lyman C. Wynne, One Sinclair Drive #117, Pittsford, NY 14534.


In the Finnish Adoption Study, a national sample of adoptees with high versus low genetic liability for schizophrenia spectrum disorders was indexed by DSM-III-R diagnoses of their biological, adopting-away mothers. The rearing-family environments of the adoptees were independently evaluated from global ratings of directly observed adoptive family relationships. The interaction of high genetic liability and dysfunction of the rearing families predicted highly significantly to schizophrenia spectrum disorder of the adoptees at 21-year follow-up. Either low genetic liability or healthy rearing protected against a spectrum outcomes for the adoptees. Initial adoptive parent diagnosis, as a proxy for rearing family dysfunction, predicted to adoptee outcome only as a trend.