Objective: To investigate the adolescent and early adult adaptation of a group of 47,XXX women as compared with their siblings, addressing developmental differences in adaptation and psychiatric status.
Method: Subjects included eleven 47,XXX women and nine female sibling controls. Interviews during adolescence and during early adulthood were semistructured and included a psychiatric evaluation. Four areas of inquiry were (1) relationships with other family members, (2) sense of self-esteem, (3) sexual identity and preference, and (4) responses to life stressors. A DSM-IV psychiatric diagnosis was assigned where appropriate. The Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime version was also administered, and assessments of overall functioning and adaptation were completed.
Results: The 47,XXX women during adolescence and young adulthood were less well adapted; had more stress; had more work, leisure, and relationship problems; had a lower IQ; and showed more psychopathology when contrasted with the comparison group. However, most of the 47,XXX women were self-sufficient and functioning reasonably well, albeit less well than their siblings.
Conclusions: This longitudinal study has clarified that previously reported outcomes of severe psychopathology and antisocial behavior in individuals with sex chromosome anomalies are rare and variability in the behavioral phenotype is much larger than originally appreciated.