In recent decades, psychiatry has come to understand mental disorders as a matter of biology, of brain abnormalities rooted in genetic variation. This consensus helped discredit theories from the 1960s that blamed the parents -- usually the mother -- for problems like neurosis, schizophrenia and autism.So science now shows that bad parenting can contribute to bad behavior.
By defining mental disorders as primarily problems of brain chemicals, the emphasis on biology also led to an increasing dependence on psychiatric drugs, especially those that entered the market in the 1980s and 1990s.
But the science behind nondrug treatments is getting stronger. And now, some researchers and doctors are looking again at how inconsistent, overly permissive or uncertain child-rearing styles might worsen children's problems, and how certain therapies might help resolve those problems, in combination with drug therapy or without drugs.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Sometimes parents can be blamed
NY Times reports: