In the course of an intensive study of several schizophrenic patients the incidental observation was made that the anamnesis contained one or more sibling deaths. The experience of such deaths appeared to have a clear dynamic relationship to the psychotic mechanisms and symptoms of these particular patients. It thus seemed desirable to investigate the frequency of such frustrating situations and, even at the risk of obscuring the important individual dynamics, to approach the problem at first on a purely statistical plane. By comparing the frequency of sibling deaths in the early life history of schizophrenic patients with their occurrence in the early experience of other psychotic patients and in that of a group of normal persons the empiric fact could be evaluated. The elucidation of the results, if positive, was conceived to follow as a more or less independent qualitative study.
METHOD OF INVESTIGATION
The present initial study was limited