Behavioral and psychiatric disorders in adult male carriers of fragile X

M. B. Dorn, M. M M Mazzocco, Randi J Hagerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Objective: In the present study we examined the incidence of psychiatric and behavioral problems among male carriers of the fragile X gene. Method: Retrospective data on carrier males were gathered using the family informant method. Each of 56 fragile X carrier women was interviewed about her father by an examiner blind to the father's carrier status. The interviewer administered measures of (1) behaviors related to DSM-III-R Axis I disorders, (2) adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors, (3) parental bonding skills, and (4) abusive behaviors. The endorsements from 24 women with fragile X fathers were compared with endorsements from 32 women with nonfragile X fathers. Results: The results show a higher incidence of psychopathology among the fragile X males (relative to nonfragile X fathers) for behaviors related to adult ADHD, parental bonding, abuse; and particularly for alcohol abuse/dependence and obsessive-compulsive disorder behaviors. Conclusions: These findings support the hypotheses that some 'nonpenetrant' males may indeed be mildly affected carriers and that there is a broad spectrum of involvement among carrier males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioral disorders
  • carrier males
  • fragile X
  • psychiatric disorders
  • psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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