The measurement of pathogenic parental style and its relevance to psychiatric disorder

The proposition that research should be directed more toward assessing qualitative aspects of parent-child relationships is addressed, and the paper summarises aspects of a number of co-ordinated studies (Parker 1983a). The development and properties of the Parental Bonding Instrument are described and its application in studies of patients with designated psychiatric disorders considered. The measure delineates a parental style of ‘affectionless control’ (involving insufficient care and overprotection), which appears to be a risk factor to neurotic disorder in particular, and the possible nature of the risk factor is discussed.

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