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October 2, 1967

Childbearing: Its Social and Psychological Aspects

Author Affiliations



edited by Stephen A. Richardson and Alan F. Guttmacher, 334 pp, $8.50, Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co., 1967.

JAMA. 1967;202(1):76. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130140134044

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The idea for this book originated with three distinguished obstetricians, who wished to determine whether cultural, social, and psychologic factors have significant influence on the course of pregnancy, delivery, and outcome. Although obstetricians have long sensed such an influence, and some recent research has cast considerable light on the problem, it was hoped that a multidisciplined approach might be more fruitful.

Unfortunately, the six authorities, eminent in their own respective paramedical fields, could come to no specific conclusions, although they indicate methods by which further studies should be undertaken.

For example, Elaine R. Grimm believes there is no evidence that psychologic factors cause physiologic effects, no assurance that the physiologic malfunctioning does not cause the psychologic disturbance. Since many clinicians may well disagree with her, she concedes finally that there has been proved "at most, an association."

The one physician among the contributors, Ernest Gruenberg, concludes: "There is no sound