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January 1963

Comparison of Parent-Child Relationships of Male and Female Schizophrenic Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(1):1-7. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720070003001

In previous papers concerning the intrafamilial environment in which schizophrenic patients grow up, we have drawn attention to the serious disturbances that permeate virtually every area of interaction in these families.5 We now wish to focus attention upon the differences between families containing schizophrenic sons and those with schizophrenic daughters. Scrutiny of these differences serves to clarify many of the apparent inconsistencies in the literature concerning characteristics of the parental personalities and their ways of relating to their schizophrenic offspring. Mothers of such patients have been designated variously—as rejecting, aloof, unempathic, cold,1,12,29 overprotective, intrusive, or symbiotic in their relationships with the patient.2,25,27 Fathers have been observed and studied less frequently but have been described as distant, aloof, passive, neglecting,7,10,11 seductively close, hostile, or brutal.2,28

In our own intensive investigation of 17 families we have found serious personality disturbances in almost all

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