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Structural couplings between individual development and the epigenesis of family relations in schizophrenia: An eight-year follow-up

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The aim of this research was to study individual development along with the epigenesis of family relations in an eight-year follow-up of schizophrenia. The five epigenetic phases described by Wynne are attachment/caregiving, communicating, joint problemsolving, mutuality, and intimacy. Results showed that the critical level of epigenesis was the communicating level; its resolution was statistically significantly connected to good prognosis concerning individual parameters. The mother-child dyad was usually epigenetically the most developed dyad in the family. We think this study gives a new paradigm for understanding connecting interconnections between individual and family dynamics in schizophrenia and valuable information for planning the integrated and need-specific treatment of schizophrenia and evaluating the course and prognosis of schizophrenia.

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Correspondence to Matti Keinänen MD.

Additional information

This study was carried out at the Clinic of Psychiatry of the University of Turku, Finland, and financially supported by the Academy of Finland. The head of the project was Professor Yrjö O. Alanen. We have also been in cooperation with and received valuable constructive criticism from Professor Lyman C. Wynne, whose theoretical model we applied in this study. Ms. Birgitta Nolvi's secretarial work was greatly appreciated.

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Keinänen, M., Virtanen, H. & Kaljonen, A. Structural couplings between individual development and the epigenesis of family relations in schizophrenia: An eight-year follow-up. Contemp Fam Ther 11, 75–88 (1989).

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  • Schizophrenia
  • Health Psychology
  • Good Prognosis
  • Social Issue
  • Critical Level