BACKGROUND: A positive family history for psychiatric disorders is the most important risk indicator for developing psychopathology. Often, the psychological consequences of a positive family history are insufficiently acknowledged. AIM: To provide insight into the psychodynamics of children who grow up in a family with psychopathology, such as psychosis, to demonstrate how these effects can last a lifetime, and to suggest ways in which such effects might be prevented. METHOD: We review the relevant literature, discuss theoretical concepts, and make clinical recommendations. RESULTS: Parental psychopathology, including psychosis, can have a strong and lasting influence on the child's identity and sense of self. CONCLUSION: A positive family history for psychiatric disorders has the potential to seriously disrupt the normal development of identity and sense of self. Various types of psychosocial interventions might be able to reduce these harmful effects.

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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bouwkamp, C., Lambregtse-van den Berg, M., Kievit, A. J. A., & Kushner, S. (2017). Psychodynamische gevolgen van een psychiatrisch belaste familiegeschiedenis. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie (Vol. 59, pp. 474–481). Retrieved from