Family Treatment of Chronic Illness in a Child: Mutual Developmental Problems

  • Irving N. Berlin
Part of the The Downstate Series of Research in Psychiatry and Psychology book series (DSRPP, volume 4)


Development has only recently been thought of as a continuum, both in children and adults, throughout the entire life cycle (Erikson, 1963). There have been a number of papers which recognize that parenthood is an important developmental phase, not previously discussed until Theresa Benedek (1959) and others pointed out that adult development is especially affected by marriage and parenthood, and that failures in development are important issues to be examined in the treatment of adults. It has been our experience, in working with disorganized families, that one of the major obstacles in helping a family towards more integrative behavior is the failure in development in both parents. This failure is threatened as each of their children begins to develop and approach a more successful resolution of developmental tasks than one or the other or both of the parents have yet experienced. Often such developmental attainments in the children are, in part, due to the greater maturity of one parent or a special interest in a child by a teacher or another adult in the child’s life (Berlin, 1979; Anthony, 1973; Anthony and Benedek, 1970).


Developmental Task Status Asthmaticus Couple Therapy Asthmatic Attack Developmental Issue 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving N. Berlin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New Mexico School of MedicineAlbuquerqueUSA

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