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December 1956

The Mother-Child Relationship in the Genesis of Neurodermatitis

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif.; Whittier, Calif.; Beverly Hills, Calif.; Redondo Beach, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.

From the Psychiatric and Dermatological Services of the Los Angeles County General Hospital.

AMA Arch Derm. 1956;74(6):599-605. doi:10.1001/archderm.1956.01550120019004

Neurodermatitis, a disorder which usually has its onset in the first year of life, has for many years been recognized to be a form of allergic reaction, which often occurs in association with two other hypersensitive states, hay fever and asthma, the three conditions together constituting the so-called "atopic" triad.1 However, attempts to treat neurodermatitis patients by desensitization to the allergens to which they are sensitive by skin test or by dietary or environmental removal of them often prove fruitless. Moreover, exposure to these allergens generally does not cause any exacerbation of the disease.

In more recent years, attention has been directed to the possible role of the mother-child relationship in the atopic triad. As early as 1937 Rogerson2 emphasized the role of the overanxious, overprotective parent in precipitating or aggravating atopic reactions in children. In 1941 French, Alexander, Mohr,3 and

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