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Am J Psychiatry. 1986 Jul;143(7):851-5.

Effects of childhood relationships on the adult's capacity to form social supports.


Social supports have been viewed as central to psychological well-being, but little attention has been directed to the capacity to form supportive relationships. Psychoanalytic perspectives suggest that the quality of adult relationships is derived from earlier childhood attachment experiences. The authors tested this thesis by correlating medical students' perceptions of their earlier relationships with their parents with the perceived quality of their current social support networks. The data suggest the need for a more complex and psychodynamically relevant conceptualization of social supports, which has implications for therapeutic interventions to ameliorate support deficits.

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