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Institutional rearing, parenting difficulties and marital support

  • David Quinton (a1), Michael Rutter (a1) and Christine Liddle (a1)


A prospective follow-up study was undertaken of two groups of women first studied in the mid 1960s when they were children: 94 girls reared in institutions to which they had been admitted because of a breakdown in parenting, and 51 girls in a general population comparison group. Both groups were interviewed in detail when aged 21–27 years and home observations were undertaken for those with young children. The institution-reared women showed a markedly increased rate of poor psychosocial functioning and of severe parenting difficulties in adult life. However, the support of a non-deviant spouse and of good living conditions in adult life provided a powerful protective effect.


Corresponding author

1Address for correspondence: Mr David Quinton Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF.


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