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Articles   |    
Functions of the Lower-Class Partial Family
PAUL L. ADAMS
Am J Psychiatry 1973;130:200-203.
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Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Psychiatric Education, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla. 33152

1973, The American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Six million children in the United States experience the partial (fatherless) family. This type of family, which appears frequently in lower-class areas, somehow functions as a viable form. It is not a congenial structure for understanding by means of the classic psychoanalytic model or other "deficit" models. A "difference" model is proposed for understanding the lower-class partial family's functions regarding sexuality, economic life chances, authority, and honor. It is poverty combined with fatherlessness that accounts for the differences and, perhaps, the deficits.

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