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June 1979

Families of Autistic and Dysphasic ChildrenI. Family Life and Interaction Patterns

Author Affiliations

From the Neuropsychiatric Institute, Center for the Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (Drs Cantwell and Baker), and the Institute of Psychiatry, London (Dr Rutter).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(6):682-687. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780060072008

• Patterns of parent-child interaction and family functioning were systematically examined in well-matched groups of 15 autistic and 14 dysphasic children. The measures used included the Douglas 24-hour standard day analysis, the Brown and Rutter interview measure of positive interaction, the lttleson scales (based on a four- to six-hour period of home observation, specially developed time-sampled measures of observed mother-child interaction at home), and the Eysenck Personality Inventory. The findings from all measures agreed in showing that family life and interaction patterns were closely similar in the two groups. The results were compared with those of previous investigations; we concluded that autism is most unlikely to be due to abnormal psychogenic influences in the family.