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April 1958

Psychiatrists' Conceptions of the Schizophrenogenic Parent

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif.

From the Palo Alto Medical Research Foundation, the Langley Porter Clinic-Hospital, and the Institute for Personality Assessment and Research, University of California.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(4):448-459. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340040092010

The efforts of some hardy pioneers in establishing the psychotherapy of schizophrenia as a reasonable procedure have led to a geometric increase in interest in this topic during the past 10 years. Possibly as a consequence of therapists' running headlong into the family of the schizophrenic, there has been an upsurge of interest in the problem of the "schizophrenogenic" parent. When one considers the size of the known and of the hospitalized schizophrenic population, and the countless encounters that must have occurred between psychiatrists and the parents of schizophrenics in the past 50 years, it is somewhat perplexing to discover that as a topic the parents have remained immune to scientific scrutiny until relatively recently. Even today, the reports on the family of the schizophrenic are largely impressionistic, and often unspecified as to size or bias of sample. An exception is the recent work of Lidz, at Yale University School

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