The 20th century has seen increasing acceptance of the idea that childhood experiences largely determine the personality and life adjustment of the adult. Of the childhood experiences, the relationship with the parents is crucial. Maladjustment in adults is extremely widespread. More than a million and a quarter of our citizens will spend some part of each year in a public mental hospital, and more than two million serious crimes are committed in the United States every year.1 We do not have measures of the prevalence of psychosomatic disturbances, marital discord, disharmony in work relations, defective personality, and general unhappiness. If parental behavior toward children plays a key role in the development of these difficulties, then it can be assumed that as parents we are not doing as well as we might.Experience with individuals confirms this idea. In the daily practice of psychiatry, one is struck forcibly by
ENGLISH OS, KATZ M, SCHEFLEN AE, DANZIG ER, SPEISER JB. Preparedness of High School and College Seniors for Parenthood. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(4):469–479. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340160067011
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