Parental communication deviance and forms of thinking in male schizophrenic offspring

Louis A. Sass, John G. Gunderson, Margaret Thaler Singer, Lyman C. Wynne

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13 Scopus citations


In a step beyond earlier research on parental communication deviance (CD) and schizophrenia, more specific links between these phenomena were investigated. First, subtypes of schizophrenia were distinguished by amount of formal thought disorder, and two forms of parental CD-called the “disorganized” and the “evasive” types-were qualitatively distinguished. In a sample of young adult male patients, it was found that schizophrenics who manifested definite and severe formal thought disorder had parents with much CD in their speech (especially the disorganized type). In contrast, male paranoid schizophrenics with constricted forms of thinking had parents whose level of CD was lower (and was comparable to that of the parents of the nonschizophrenic controls). This suggests that parental CD may be better understood as specifically associated with cognitive disorganization in the offspring, rather than with overall DSM-III or DSM-II criteria for schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-520
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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