Association of parental communication deviance with offspring's psychiatric and thought disorders. A systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur Psychiatry. 2014 Jan;29(1):20-31. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jul 9.


Elevated number of parental Communication Deviance (CD) has been connected with psychiatric and thought disorders in their offspring. However, no earlier systematic efforts have been made to review this issue. The aim of this study was to survey the existing literature systematically and perform a meta-analysis of this association. A literature search for published and unpublished observational studies on the association of parental Communication Deviance with psychopathology in the offspring was conducted. Multiple electronic databases were searched (from 1960 to 2012) and the reference lists of the resulting publications were scanned. The findings were pooled using random effect meta-analysis. A total of 19 relevant papers were found and accessed. The results showed that a high level of parental CD is associated with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in the offspring. A large overall effect size (0.79) was found in the meta-analysis. No meta-analysis could be performed on the association of parental CD with an offspring's thought disorders, but the results suggest that such an association may exist. Parental Communication Deviance is associated with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in the offspring. High parental CD could be treated as an indicator of a risk of developing a schizophrenia spectrum disorder, at least among high-risk groups.

Keywords: CD; Gene-environment interaction; Schizophrenia spectrum; Systemic model; Vulnerability-stress theory.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication Disorders / genetics
  • Communication Disorders / psychology*
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Humans
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Schizophrenia / etiology*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics