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November 1962

Father-Child Relationships and Children's Problems

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;7(5):360-373. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01720050050005

Why has knowledge about father-child relationships (FCR's) not kept pace with knowledge about mother-child relationships (MCR's)? The main reasons boil down to these: (a) mothers are more concerned than are fathers about child rearing; and (b) mothers are more available for interviewing. Meanwhile, studies of MCR's alone have often made unwarranted generalizations about parent-child relationships. Furthermore, the bona fide literature on FCR's has dealt mainly with the generic functions of the father, e.g., his role as rival or love object in the Oedipus conflict. Yet obviously all fathers do not fulfill their generic roles in the same way. One is stern; one is permissive. One is warm; one cold. Surely the impact upon children of such differences must be appreciable.22 The present study was designed to throw light on the significance of some such differences. Like its predecessor concerning MCR's35 it was

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