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June 1963

Role Perceptions of Children With Ulcerative Colitis

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(6):536-545. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720120010003

Problem  In the most recent literature on ulcerative colitis there has been a gradually developing trend toward regarding the family as the crucible in which are mixed the necessary elements for the precipitation of this disease. The focus on family interaction patterns has led to some broad generalizations concerning the ways in which these patients interact with the various members of the family. It has become evident that these patients are in a conflicted symbiotic relationship with a so-called key person, usually the mother. The role fulfilled by other family members seems relatively unimportant, perhaps because there is simply less information available on them due to the ulcerative colitis patient's having so hypercathected the key figure that there is little energy left over for other interpersonal involvements (Sperling, 1946; Engel, 1955). The notions developed primarily from clinical evaluations of adult patients lend

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