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The Parent-Child Relationship and the Physician

LEON EISENBERG, M.D.
AMA Am J Dis Child. 1956;91(2):153-157. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1956.02060020155009.
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Modern concepts of personality development stress the important role of the parent-child relationship in guiding the psychological growth of the child into healthy or unhealthy channels. So much has this been stressed that it may be taken for a self-evident truism, with no appreciation of its profound implications, or it may be exalted to the alpha and omega of psychiatry. Precisely because the role of the parents is being stressed in this paper, it is necessary to emphasize at the outset that it should not be regarded as the sole determinant of the child's behavior. It is one important factor among many: the endowment of the child, his physical health, the social condition of his family, cultural patterns, the status of schools in the community, and so on, which have been discussed in a previous communication.1 The relationship between parent and child must always be seen against the background

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