A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF VARIABLES RELATED TO PSYCHIC TRAUMA IN THE LIFE HISTORIES OF SCHIZOPHRENICS AND MATCHED NORMALS.
HOUSTON UNIV TEX
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The primary purposes of the study were 1 the systematic investigation of the antecedent histories of two matched populations 102 schizophrenics and their controls for pathogenic events that might be predisposing to mental illness, and 2 the evaluation of the use of antecedent histories in establishing diagnosis and planning a course of treatment. Sixty-four of the items on the Biographical Questionnaire were found to be significant at the .10 level or less. These results indicated that the schizophrenic population reported the occurrence of pathogenic events more frequently than the normals. Three factors evolved from the findings of this research. They are 1 that the mentally ill perceive and report more occurrences of pathogenic events or experiences in their life histories than do normals, 2 that the disturbed personality of the schizophrenic is not related to one isolated incident of psychic trauma or pathogenic event--it is a summation of these events occurring at the proper time during the developmental period that appears to be predisposing to mental illness, and 3 that accurate life histories are of value to the psychologist and psychiatrist in evaluating and treating the disturbed personality. Author