February 11, 1974

The Origin and Treatment of Schizophrenic Disorders

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, NY


by Theodore Lidz, 145 pp, $6.95, Basic Books, 1973.

JAMA. 1974;227(6):666. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230190058030

Because of the lack of conceptual clarity about schizophrenia, both the search for causes and the development of methods for treatment have posed a continuing challenge for psychiatry. This succinct, well-written volume based on the author's 1967 Salmon Lectures addresses itself successfully to both aspects of the challenge through a focused rather than comprehensive approach. Citing his own investigations and the work of others, the author defines and illustrates the nature of the disordered family settings in which the illness develops. Starting with an examination of the role of the family in the development of the child, he proceeds to a careful description and categorization of the intrafamilial circumstances that affect the growing child who will be vulnerable to schizophrenia. He illustrates the changes that occur in these disordered families and the developmental crises for the patient that precede the emergence of the first acute psychotic episode.

In discussing the