The Problem of Blame
On January 27 I posted a blog, Maternal Attachment in Infancy and Adult Mental Health, on my website Behaviorism and Mental Health. In this article I reviewed a longitudinal study by Fan et al. The main finding of the study was:
“Infants who experience unsupportive maternal behavior at 8 months have an increased risk for developing psychological sequelae later in life.”
In my article, I pointed out that the correlation between the low maternal attachment ratings and subsequent “mental health” issues was not perfect, so clearly this was not the only factor involved in the adult children’s subsequent problems. But I also made the point that what we do as parents affects how our children function in adulthood.
For me this is simply an obvious fact of life that tragically has been barred from discussion by the psychiatric mantra – that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behavior are genetic-linked brain illnesses, and that parents couldn’t have impacted the outcome one way or the other.
The post generated a few comments on the blame-the-parents issue, and, since this is a critical topic in the current psychiatric debate, I thought it might be helpful to discuss the matter further.