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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 1999 March;40(1):17-22

language: Italian

Parental family characteristics of subjects with panic disorder

De Vanna M., Baiocchi P., Allegranti I.


Background. With the aim to verify if some parent/child communicational characteristics could influence Panic Disorder (PD) psychogenesis, 24 in-patients with PD not complicated (DSM-IV) referred to the Psychiatric Clinic of the Trieste University were compared with 24 healthy controls matched for sex, age and socio-demographic characteristics.
Methods. A semi-structured questionnaire expressly made by the authors was used for detecting in the parental family: a) the possible presence of tanathophobic and hypochondriacal messages: b) the possible presence of messages supporting the inhibition of explorational behaviour and the restriction of relationships; c) the possible presence of a dominant person in the parental couple. Another section of the questionnaire was made to detect if each parent had been rewarding or penalizing for patients and controls. All the answers, regarding everyone's childhood, were submitted to three ways variance analysis and t-test was used for each parental characteristic with the aim to ascertain if there were statistically significant differences between probands and controls.
Results. The results show a statistically significant difference between the two groups (p<0.01).
Conclusions. Patients' mother appears the principal source of tanathophobic and hypochondriacal messages; the parent of the same sex of patients is more penalizing and dominant on the other parent than in controls families; relationships restriction and messages supporting the inhibition of explorational behaviour are less present in the controls families than in patients.

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