Family’s Mental Disorders May Shape Your Interests
A brother withِ autism orِ a grandmother withِ depression couldِ help determine whichِ subjects youِ find intellectually engaging, according toِ newِ research thatِ reveals a link betweenِ family psychiatric history andِ interests.
For example, students whoِ planned toِ major inِ the humanities orِ social sciences wereِ twiceِ asِ likely asِ other students toِ report a family member withِ a mood disorder orِ substance abuse.
The results areِ preliminary andِ based onِ self-reports, soِ researchers can’tِ say forِ certainِ why theseِ links exist.
Interests and disorders
But thoseِ studies involved people withِ demonstrated aptitudes forِ their careers — published poets, working scientists andِ active artists, forِ example.
The students weِ surveyed areِ not allِ F.
They alsoِ asked themِ ifِ their parents, siblings orِ grandparents hadِ a history ofِ mood disorders (such asِ depression orِ bipolar disorder), substance abuse orِ autism-spectrum disorders.
But Wang isِ not theِ onlyِ researcher toِ find links betweenِ heritable disorders andِ family interests.
In November 2011, forِ example, researchers reported inِ the British Journal ofِ Psychiatry thatِ people withِ bipolar disorder, asِ well asِ their healthy immediateِ family members, wereِ moreِ likelyِ to hold creative jobs inِ the arts orِ sciences thanِ people withoutِ a family history ofِ the disorder.
But theِ correlations suggest a common genetic path betweenِ certain interests andِ certain mental disorders, Wang said.