A Search for Important Stimulus Variables in the Early Family Relationships of Schizophrenic Patients
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
G. R. Pascal
W.O. Jenkins, C.N. Sipprelle, M.H. Moore, W.E. Cole
Summary and Conclusions
Ten male schizophrenic patients and their control subjects were matched on the variables age, education, and socioeconomic status by occupation. The Pascal-Jenkins Behavioral Scales (Pascal & Jenkins, 1960b) were used to investigate the stimulus situations presented by grandparents, parents, and siblings in the first ten years of the subjects’ lives. The experiment was replicated with ten additional experimental subjects and their controls.
The stimulus categories “Mother” and “Father” were found to be highly significant in both experiments. This suggested that the schizophrenic patients had more general deprivation of needs by parents in the early years. Specifically defined variables significant across both experiments were “Active Play with Subject,” “Displays of Affection by Parents,” “Gregariousness of Father,” and “Compatibility of Parents.” There was a strong trend toward significance for the variable “Deviant Behavior by Parents.”
The study suggests the hypothesis that in the early years the schizophrenic patients had little opportunity to experience close interpersonal contacts with their parents, were deprived of affection by them, and learned withdrawal and other maladaptive social responses through the influence of their behavior.
The usefulness of the method for further research and possible directions might take were suggested.
Horner, Robert F., "A Search for Important Stimulus Variables in the Early Family Relationships of Schizophrenic Patients. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 1961.