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NEUROTIC INTERACTION AND PATTERNS OF PSEUDO-HEREDITY IN THE FAMILY
JAN EHRENWALD
Am J Psychiatry 1958;115:134-142.
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Abstract

In summary it can be stated that our focus on attitudes and traits as the elementary units of interaction in the family, and the method of preferential rating outlined here, make a quantitative treatment of such interactions possible. Our findings suggest that attitudes do not occur singly but in pairs or in compounds of higher complexity. Based on this principle our study leads to the distinction of 4 major patterns of interaction: patterns of sharing, contagion, complementarity and resistance. The findings lend themselves to diagramatic representation, 1. of interaction in a family pair, 2. of the intrafamily personality profile, and 3. of a composite picture of family interaction, or family profile. Our material illustrates at the same time the part played by patterns of sharing and contagion in the non-biological or pseudo-hereditary transmission of traits and attitudes.

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