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Perceived Depriving Parental Rearing and Depression

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2018

Carlo Perris*
WHO Collaborating Centre for Research & Training in Mental Health, Umeå University, Department of Psychiatry, S–901 85 Umeå, Sweden
W. A. Arrindell
Department of Clinical Psychology, Academic Hospital of the State University of Groningen, Oostersingel 59, 9713 EZ Groningen, The Netherlands
Hjördis Perris
Umeå University, Department of Psychiatry
Martin Eisemann
Umeå University, Department of Psychiatry
J. van der Ende
Department of Clinical Psychology, Academic Hospital of the State University of Groningen
Lars von Knorring
MRC Research Fellow Umeå University, Department of Psychiatry, S–901 85 Umeå, Sweden


Four groups of depressed patients 47 unipolars, 21 bipolars, 34 with neurotic-reactive depression, and 39 with unspecified depressive disorder completed, after recovery, the EMBU, a Swedish instrument aimed at assessing the experience of parental rearing practices. The results for three factors: “rejection”, “emotional warmth” and “over-protection” and the global judgement scores of “severity” and “consistency” in rearing attitudes were compared with those obtained from 205 healthy individuals. Depressed patients, particularly in the unipolar unspecified groups rated both parents lower than the controls on emotional warmth. Patients tended also to rate their parents as less consistent in their rearing attitudes. The variables emotional warmth and overprotection allowed 64% of the patients and 72 of the unipolar depressives to be classified correctly. These results, like those of previous studies, support the hypothesis that deprivation of love during childhood represents an important psychological risk factor in the background of depressive disorders.

Copyright © 1986 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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