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Creating a Genogram

Genograms are used to graphically display your medical family history -- a kind of medical pedigree chart that contains special symbols that indicate the sex and relationship of each family member. Unlike a traditional pedigree chart, genograms do not require names, birth and death dates, and they usually only cover three or four generations. The standard set of symbols for a genogram are:

  • A circle indicates a female
  • A square indicates a male
  • An x through one of the above indicates the person is dead
  • A horizontal solid line connecting two people shows a committed (i.e., married) connection
  • A horizontal solid line which is slashed indicates a divorce or non-committed relationship
  • A vertical or diagonal solid line indicates a biological connection
  • A vertical or diagonal dashed line indicates a special relationship such as adoption


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