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April 1961

Maternal Attitudes Toward Child Rearing: A Cross-Cultural Pilot Study

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(4):340-356. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710100020003

The attitude and response of the parent towards diverse kinds of behavioral disturbances* of childhood are of decisive importance for their prognosis as well as for the psychic development of the child. Bed wetting, stuttering, lying, masturbation, etc., first acquire catamnestic significance from the interaction of the needs of the child and the prohibitive and permissive attitudes of the parent.14 Such attitudes are in part a function of their culture. Further, the therapeutic procedure undertaken in connection with such symptoms is also essentially determined by the culturally conditioned attitudes of the parents. A mother, for example, who regards one of these problems as symptomatic of an illness will behave differently toward the child than a mother who sees such a problem as a vice. Her viewpoint also has a decisive influence on her decision as to whether and from whom she will seek help.

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