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Tue Mar 23, 2021, 08:42 PM

Hidden Valley Road. American family with 12 children, 6 had schizophrenia

Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

Wow, what a story. My 4 other siblings and I were born during 1951-1960... I'm sure some here can relate to that time period too. Its the same ages as some of these people in this book. Imagine how one sick child can affect a family. This family had 6. Why them? Nature vs. Nurture? Very interesting read. I was able to get an ebook from the library.

This book is an account of the Galvin family of Colorado Springs, Colorado, a midcentury American family with twelve children (10 boys and 2 girls), six of whom were diagnosed with schizophrenia (notably all boys). The family became the subject of researchers investigating a genetic origin for schizophrenia.

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins—aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony—and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Valley_Road

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Reply Hidden Valley Road. American family with 12 children, 6 had schizophrenia (Original post)
IcyPeas Mar 2021 OP
tulipsandroses Mar 2021 #1
Indykatie Mar 2021 #2
IcyPeas Mar 2021 #3

Response to IcyPeas (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 09:01 PM

1. Thanks for posting. I will check it out

I work in mental health. I'm usually reading journals, and studies. But this will be a nice change.

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Response to IcyPeas (Original post)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 09:04 PM

2. I and My 2 Siblings Were Also Born During That Period

The "established script" and American dream cited in the article is romanticized fiction. Why would a family have 12 children even without the issue of mental illness being present? I grew up in a middle class environment and I can't think of a single family in our community who had more than 5 kids. Unless our suburban area was atypical most families had 2-3 kids.

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Response to Indykatie (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 23, 2021, 09:41 PM

3. In this family it was the father who kept wanting more kids

I went to Catholic school in the 60s. There were a number of families with more than 8 children, one had 11. Middle/working class neighborhood NYC. My parents had 5 of us, dad worked 2 jobs out of necessity.

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