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December 1961

Environmental Factors in Creative Function: A Study of Gifted Children

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, Cincinnati General Hospital.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(6):554-564. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710180038005

We are reporting here a psychiatric and psychological study of gifted children, which attempts to elicit significant and relevant factors in family life contributing to functional creativity. Application of the principles of dynamic psychiatry to the area of creative functioning has, in the past, been limited in scope. Kubie's recent book10 on the subject, for instance, is still basically addressed to the question that has been embarrassing psychiatrists for half a century: Does analysis, in modifying the conflict areas of the personality, quell inner tensions that are necessary to the creative act? Some interest has been expressed in the nature of creativity as an intrapsychic process, but there has been little agreement and no clear formulation.1,2,7

One implicit assumption that has been shared by many psychologists and psychiatrists working with creativity has been that creative function is a constitutional variable, much as is

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