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Symbiosis and confirmation between the parents of the schizophrenic.

Authors
  • Summers, F
  • Walsh, F
Type
Published Article
Journal
Family process
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1981
Volume
20
Issue
3
Pages
319–330
Identifiers
PMID: 7286179
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Parents of schizophrenics (N = 17) were compared with parents of nonschizophrenic hospitalized patients (N = 14) and parents of normals (N = 15) on the degree of symbiotic enmeshment and confirmation of individuality in the parental relationship. Symbiosis was divided into six component variables: undifferentiation, dependency, intervention, disapproval of other relationships, separation difficulty, and injunctions. Confirmation was bifurcated into acknowledgment and accommodation. Projective tests (TAT and Make-A-Picture-Story) and interviews were used to measure both variables. The results suggest that mothers of schizophrenics tend to be symbiotically attached to their husbands and view their husbands as forming the same type of attachment to them. Fathers of schizophrenics do not tend to be symbiotically involved with their wives but fail to confirm them. The implications of the results for the family system of the schizophrenic are discussed.

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