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October 18, 1965

Trapped: Families and Schizophrenia

JAMA. 1965;194(3):315. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090160093047

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To investigate the relationship between family life and schizophrenia Rogler and Hollingshead studied intensively 20 families in which husband, wife, or both had recently developed schizophrenia, and 20 control families. All subjects were of the lowest socioeconomic class, living in slums or housing projects in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Psychiatrists in private practice interviewed separately each husband and wife. Trained field workers repeatedly visited the families and their relatives and associates. By the end of the three-year research period the life history and present situation of each of the 80 subjects was well known to the investigators.

After describing the research design and methods, the authors present and discuss their findings. They discovered that those individuals who developed schizophrenia had backgrounds and childhoods essentially indistinguishable from those people who did not become psychotic. It was in the year or so prior to the onset of the psychosis that the subjects

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