TA: Johanna Harrison – Tuesdays 9:05am-9:55am
Common Heritable Contributions to Low-Risk Trauma, High-Risk
Trauma, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Major Depression
Carolyn E. Sartor et al.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): a psychiatric disorder, involving
exposure to a precipitating event.
Phenotype: the visible characteristics of an organism resulting from the
interaction between its genetic makeup and the environment
Expand the understanding of relative contributions of genetic and
environmental factors to trauma exposure, PTSD, and MDD.
Measure the heritable influences on four different phenotypes (low and
high-risk trauma, PTSD and MDD) in order to estimate the degree of
commonality between the genetic and environmental bases of variance
Childhood Trauma study – volunteer twin panel, their siblings and
parents from a large Australian National Health and Medical
1532 adult twins & 1059 siblings from a large population sample of
male and female twin pairs
Of the twins 899 high-risk families, and the remaining 633 control
Criteria: they had experienced childhood sexual and physical abuse. 524 high-risk families – experienced childhood sexual or physical
373 control families – experienced no trauma. The following criteria
had to be similar to the high-risk group (constants)
o Age, sex, zygosity, family structure
Semi structured psychiatric diagnostic telephone assessments
Twins were interviewed along with their siblings and parents.
Lifetime MDDinterviewers used a modification of the Semi-
Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA)
Lifetime DSM-IV PTSDinterviewers used modified version of the
National Comorbidity Survey interview
The traumatic events were classified as high or low-risk depending on the
level of disturbance experienced by the individual, and thereby the relative
risk of the development of PTSD.
Quadrivariate Cholesky assess the natur