Higher adaptive functioning and lower rate of psychotic comorbidity in married versus unmarried individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

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Abstract

22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is a relatively common genetic disorder. Due to improvement in pediatric care, affected individuals live into adulthood, some of whom marry or have committed relationships, and reproduce. The current study aimed to identify the factors that discriminate between married and unmarried adults with 22q11.2DS. In the presents study, 90 adults with 22q11.2DS (48 men/42 women), aged 29.8 ± 10.3 years, were included in the analysis. Psychiatric comorbidities, IQ score, and adaptive functioning were assessed using gold-standard diagnostic tools. Demographic factors, marital status, and reproductive status were evaluated by self-reports. Of the sample 25 adults (27.7%) were married and 14 (56%) of those had children. Married, as compared to unmarried individuals, were older, had less psychotic comorbidities, showed higher adaptive functioning in all domains of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and had higher rates of independent living and sustained employment. Unexpectedly, married individuals showed higher rates of mood disorders and full scale IQ scores did not discriminate between the groups. We propose that multiple factors are associated with marital status among individuals with 22q11.2DS. Identification of key personal, functional, and social characteristics of those who married and reproduced may help counseling health professionals and clinicians in advising affected individuals and their families.

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