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Examining parental bonding behaviour in a Greek sample of schizophrenic patients and their siblings


Bonding between mother and child is described as a complex two-way process ensuring the needs of the child for nurture and protection [1]. Parental bonding is linked with a variety of psychiatric disorders in adulthood. There is clinical evidence to suggest distorted parental bonding in schizophrenic patients in a variety of studies [2].

Materials and methods

The objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship between different types of maternal and paternal bonding in 25 patients with psychotic symptoms and their healthy siblings. Information about maternal and paternal bonding was assessed by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) [3].


The results showed that schizophrenic patients reported significant differences in parental bonding compared to their healthy siblings. In particular, patients described their mothers and fathers to be less caring and more overprotective than their siblings described them. It needs further research to investigate this fact and identify if the patients' perception of the family is distorted, due to the illness, or the family system was different for the two siblings.


Results suggest that patients with schizophrenia, unlike patients with other psychiatric illnesses, reported significantly higher paternal lack of care and overprotection. The importance of paternal behaviour in psychotic illness will be discussed.


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  3. Parker G., Tupling M, Brown L.B: A Parental Bonding Instrument. British Journal of medical Psychology. 1979, 52: 1-10.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Avagianou, P., Mouzas, O.D. & Angelopoulos, N.V. Examining parental bonding behaviour in a Greek sample of schizophrenic patients and their siblings. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S281 (2008).

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