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August 1959

Self-Perceptual Patterns Among Ulcer Patients

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago (Drs. Lieberman and Stock); Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati (Dr. Whitman).
This investigation was supported in part by a research grant (M-1048) from the National Institute of Mental Health, U. S. Public Health Service.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(2):167-176. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590020063004

The present research is concerned with identifying self-perceptual patterns among ulcer patients. A person’s description of himself is a highly complex entity. It includes an expression of what he is, what he would like to be, and what he once was. It may also involve a way of looking at himself that conceals unacceptable traits. A particular core conflict may be expressed in a variety of self-percepts.

In this study our interest is in examining whether the self-percepts of ulcer patients seem to constitute patterns centering around one or more basic or core conflicts. Alexander’s specificity hypothesis1 postulates a common core conflict for ulcer patients. While our study does not specifically test the adequacy or inadequacy of the specificity hypothesis, we were stimulated by Alexander’s work and hope to shed further light on some of the dynamics of the ulcer patient.

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