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Psychiatry. 1996 Fall;59(3):274-97.

The schizophrenogenic mother concept in American psychiatry.


The development of the schizophrenogenic mother concept within American psychiatry has been something of an enigma. This interpersonal hypothesis of the etiology of schizophrenia involved a sharp break in the historical progression of understanding the disease. Though former promulgators have gone from calling the schizophrenogenic mother a "half truth" to a psychiatric "myth," this psychiatric concept remains a puzzle, still (Arieti 1997, p. 353; Neill 1990). The circumstances surrounding the development, flowering, and decline of the schizophrenogenic mother concept have not been fully explored.

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